Funeral services were held today for Indiana State Senator Anita Bowser.
Bowser lost her battle with breast cancer on Sunday... She was 86 years old.
Anita Bowser had a long and distinguished political career.
Its one that dates back to 1980, and one she started when she was in her sixties.
There are indications that Bowser was thinking of “others”
Right up until the end.
“I had a nice visit with her the day before she died,” said friend and former colleague in the Legislature, Mary Kay Budak of LaPorte. “In that visit we talked about many things and one of the things was, when she was ready to retire, when she was ready, who her replacement would be.
And she wanted it to be a woman.”
Perhaps that was seen as one way Bowser could continue her question to protect the “little guy.”
“The little guy really lost a friend with Anita Bowser’s
passing,” says Shaw Friedman, the former LaPorte County Democratic Party Chairman.
“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.”
She became known as the “conscience” of the Indiana Legislature.
While she may have retired as a school teacher…
That didn’t stop her from lecturing.
“When she went up to the microphone sometimes you'd
hear a groan because you knew they were going to be lectured to,” says Budak.
“But if you listened to the lecture, it made you stop and listen
before you made that vote.”
Many of those who showed up to pay their last respects today, took one final opportunity to say “thanks” for the profound impact Bowser had on their lives.
“I'm not the only one she affected in this way,” said LaPorte Circuit Court Judge Thomas Alevizos. “There's a lot of people who have gotten involved in politics or served their community in other ways who have continued their education or become professionals because of the amount of encouragement that she--personalized encouragement that she gave.”