MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. (AP) — Former Gov. Joe Kernan, Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman
and about 25 legislators joined hundreds of mourners at the funeral for
state Sen. Anita Bowser.
More than a dozen colleagues and friends spoke during Thursday’s service at
Notre Dame Catholic Church, recalling her tenacity, insight and sense of
Bower died Sunday at age 86 after a battle with breast cancer. The Michigan
City Democrat was first elected to the Indiana House in 1980, and then
elected to the Senate in 1992, representing northern Indiana’s LaPorte and
St. Joseph counties.
Kernan, who presided over the state Senate when he was lieutenant governor,
made reference to Bowser’s academic career — she had law and doctoral
degrees and had been a college political science professor.
“I think Anita had more degrees than I had base hits,” joked Kernan, who was
a college baseball player. “It was that extraordinary wisdom she brought to
the task every day.”
Sen. Earline Rogers, D-Gary, and Rep. Sheila Klinker, D-Lafayette, were
Bowser’s roommates during legislative sessions and paid tribute to her by
placing a copy of the state constitution in her casket.
Shaw Friedman, a former LaPorte County Democratic Party chairman, said he
believed the “little guy” in Indiana lost an ally with Bowser’s death.
“She was an articulate advocate for the needs of those who didn’t have,
whether it was the indigent, the mentally ill, or physically disabled,” he