Condolences shared for former Kentucky state Senator Joe Bowen

Bowen also served in the Kentucky House of Representatives

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Condolences continue to come in for the late Joe Bowen, a former Republican Kentucky state Senator from Owensboro representing District 8 from 2010 to 2018. Bowen also served in the Kentucky House of Representatives from 2005-2006.

According to the University of Kentucky, Bowen also served on UK’s Board of Trustees. A biography shared by UK says Bowen was a small business owner of Bowen Tire, which was founded by his father in 1949. According to the biography, Bowen graduated from Daviess County High School in 1968, then attended the University of Kentucky and graduated with a degree in Business Administration in 1972.

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R) KY released the following statement Tuesday on the passing of Bowen:

“I am sad to learn of the passing of former Kentucky State Senator Joe Bowen, a premier statesman, philanthropist, and small business owner. After a term in the Kentucky House of Representatives, Joe served in our State Senate for eight years, rising to the top of two committees focused on reforming the organization of our state and local governments to ensure they served Kentuckians more efficiently. He was a consummate public servant before, during, and after his time in office, serving as chairman of the Owensboro YMCA and the Kentucky State Parks Foundation and as a member of the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees. Joe was a good friend who will be missed by all those he touched during his life and career.

“I was proud to work alongside Joe to improve the Commonwealth. As the owner of a family business, he had an innate understanding of the needs of Kentucky employers and workers and wielded that knowledge to foster development around our state. Elaine and I send our deepest condolences to Joe’s wife Vicki, his children Adam and Joy, and his five grandchildren, and will hold the entire Bowen family in our prayers.”

The Republican Party of Kentucky also shared a statement on the passing of Senator Bowen. Republican Party of Kentucky Chairman Mac Brown issued the following statement:

“The Republican Party of Kentucky joins the Owensboro community in mourning the loss of former state senator Joe Bowen,” Chairman Brown said. “While in the General Assembly, Senator Bowen brought a businessman’s eye to government and labored to make it more efficient. His lifetime of service included helping run his family business, Bowen Tire, and serving on the board of community and academic organizations, including the University of Kentucky’s board of trustees. The RPK prays for his loved ones, especially his wife, Vicki, and the entire Bowen family. May he rest in peace.”

State Auditor Mike Harmon shared the following condolences:

“I’m saddened to hear about the passing of my friend, former State Senator and State Representative Joe Bowen.  I not only had the honor of serving with him in the General Assembly, but also as a member of the Public Pension Oversight Board during his time as co-chairman.

Joe truly cared about our Commonwealth, and strived to make it better for all.  My heart goes out to his family.”

The following is a statement from Senate President Robert Stivers on behalf of the Senate Majority Republican Caucus:

“Joe Bowen was our dear friend and defined public service in every sense of the word. He was unafraid to stand in the trenches, so much so that he was known as Lunchbox Joe and Papa Joe to his many grandkids. Joe was the epitome of the man on the street as he fought for the best interests of this commonwealth, which he loved dearly. Whether it was as a state senator or on the UK Board of Trustees, he was about serving his community and this commonwealth.  Our entire caucus mourns Joe’s passing and asks all to join us in prayer for his wife, Vicki, and the entire Bowen family as they grapple with this significant loss. Kentucky has lost a wonderful statesman today and he will be missed.”

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

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