Date: 11/13/2000

Former governor

Former Indiana Governor Otis R. “Doc” Bowen of Bremen, Ind., will autograph copies of his recently released autobiography “Doc: Memories from a Life in Public Service” during a visit to Munster at the end of this month. Co-author William Du Bois Jr., will also be present at the book signing event.

The autograph session is open to the general public, and will be from 4 —7 p.m., Nov. 30, in the Patio at The Community Hospital, 901 MacArthur Boulevard, Munster. The Patio is located just inside the hospital’s main entrance. Books may be purchased at the autograph session for $24.95. A portion of the sales will be donated by the hospital to the Community Veterans Memorial Fund in honor of Bowen’s army service during World War II.

“We are honored that Indiana University Press and the former Governor have asked us to host this event,” said Community Hospital Administrator Edward P. Robinson. “Former Governor Bowen was instrumental in helping secure the approvals needed by Community Hospital in our early history and we welcome him as a guest to see what he helped to build.”

Published in late September by Indiana University Press, Bowen’s book is a life story of the Bremen physician turned politician. The book spans his childhood in rural Fulton County and his financial struggles in working his way through medical school, to his World War II army service and his almost accidental entry into politics as a candidate for Marshall County coroner in 1952. The book also covers Bowen’s later career in politics, during which he lost only one election - by just four votes.

The autobiography also chronicles Bowen’s personal story, covering the quarter-century he worked as a family doctor in Bremen, and the personally painful losses of his first two wives, both of whom died of cancer. Bowen is now married to Carol Lynn (Hahn) Flosenzier Midesell, who rescued him from loneliness and who, he says, “fills my days with loving companionship, laughter and joy.”

Bowen served as Indiana’s governor from 1973 to 1981. He was the first governor to serve eight consecutive years in the state’s highest office and the first governor since adoption of the 1851 Constitution to serve consecutive terms. Earlier, Bowen served 14 years in the Indiana House of Representatives, including two years as minority leader and six years as Speaker.

After leaving the governor’s office, Bowen taught family practice at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis before being nominated by President Ronald W. Reagan as secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Bowen served in that Cabinet role for slightly more than three years, a longer period than any other person up to that time. He and Mrs. Bowen now live in retirement in Bremen, Marshall County.

Co-author Du Bois began his newspaper career at the “News-Times” in Bremen. He later was editor of the “Portland Commercial Review,” worked for the “Indianapolis News” and was managing editor of “The Muncie Star.” After serving as an executive assistant to Govs. Bowen and Robert D. Orr, Du Bois spent more than a decade in higher education, much of that period as the system public relations and marketing director for Ivy Tech State College. He and his wife Treva live in Greenwood, Ind.