An Indiana icon was laid to rest in Bremen today.
Funeral services were held for beloved hometown hero Otis “Doc” Bowen.
While the services held inside the church were private, the crowd also spilled onto the sidewalks as hundreds huddled outside for a chance to pay their respects.
“It’s a celebration I think, I don’t think it’s a sad day, I think it’s a celebration of a great man,” said Deidra Balsley.
At times the chosen path to the cemetery looked like a parade route. For instance, children who would have otherwise been confined to a classroom were allowed to camp out on the curb.
Some adults also felt the need to play hooky. “I should probably be at work, knowing we’re going to be very busy but I am the store manager at Dairy Queen so I make the schedule and I decided I deserve the day off,” said Balsley.
Those who stayed to see the casket travel to the cemetary saw a flagged daped version resting on a horse drawn cart.
Otis Bowen had an uncanny knack of knowing a lot of Bremen town residents ‘since birth.”
“I was a Bowen baby, he delivered me so I have that claim to fame always said Sandy Yoder.
Ken Koontz had a similar story. “Got married 50 years ago and I’ve got three daughters and they were all Bowen babies, he delivered all three of them.”
While Bowen was arguably a good two-term Indiana governor, and a good Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Reagan, he was first and foremost a good man.
“It was a great service; it was a tribute to a man who lived a great life, contributed a great deal to the state and to the nation, but did it in such a decent human way that he was beloved,” said U.S. Senator Dan Coats, (R) Indiana.