Indiana's current Governor Mike Pence made the announcement Sunday afternoon. And since that time, we've been working the phones, talking with people who knew this icon within in our community and within the state of Indiana.
Here's what we know right now:
Governor Pence says Bowen passed away Saturday night at the Catherine Kasper Life Center. That's in Donaldson, near Bowen's hometown of Bremen.
Bowen, known among Hoosiers for decades as "Doc," was a doctor in Bremen when he first was elected to office in 1952 as Marshall County coroner.
That started a political rise that saw him become a wildly popular Republican governor from 1973 to 1981. He was the first Indiana governor to ever be elected to two consecutive terms.
Bowen became secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services in 1985 under President Reagan. He took charge of the federal government's response to the spread of AIDS after the Reagan administration was criticized by activists for a slow initial response.
Joe Kernan’s reaction
Former Governor Joe Kernan knew Bowen and sought his advice on tax restructuring when Kernan was in office. He says from that time on, they were friends...it was a friendship Kernan treasured through the years.
He says Indiana lost a great public servant.
“All of his professional career as a legislator, as a governor and leader of arguably what was the largest department in federal government – it was all about being in the best interest of people he was serving,” said Kernan.
Governor Pence has directed that flags at state buildings across Indiana be flown at half-staff through next Saturday to honor Bowen.
Pence is also asking Indiana businesses and homeowners to lower their flags in honor of Bowen's service to the state and the nation.
Mishler Funeral Homes in Bremen is handling the arrangements. Their website indicates visitation is set for Wednesday from 11 to 3 and Thursday from 4 to 8 at St. Paul's Lutheran church at 605 south Center Street in Bremen.
The funeral will be held there as well on Friday at 11 a.m.
WSBT's Rachel Lake is in Bremen right now, talking with people who knew Bowen. You can see that tonight at 11 on WSBT News. We'll also have an in-depth look back at Bowen's life tonight and hear more from former Governor Joe Kernan as he remembers Indiana's 44th Governor.