Angela Joyce Bowen obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Angela Joyce Bowen

October 18, 1932 - August 31, 2017

Obituary


Dr. Angela J, Bowen, a longtime Olympia physician, medical research pioneer and community philanthropist, died peacefully at her home in Olympia, Wash., on Aug. 31, 2017. Born near Taylorsville, Miss., on Oct. 18, 1932, she was a trailblazer in many respects. She was the first person from her rural farm family to attend college, and was one of just four women in the University of Washington Medical School graduating class of 1963.

She was a medical researcher in the field of endocrinology, maintained a medical practice in Olympia for many years and...

Dr. Angela J, Bowen, a longtime Olympia physician, medical research pioneer and community philanthropist, died peacefully at her home in Olympia, Wash., on Aug. 31, 2017. Born near Taylorsville, Miss., on Oct. 18, 1932, she was a trailblazer in many respects. She was the first person from her rural farm family to attend college, and was one of just four women in the University of Washington Medical School graduating class of 1963.

She was a medical researcher in the field of endocrinology, maintained a medical practice in Olympia for many years and authored books and conducted workshops on nutritional health. Dr. Bowen was a fierce defender of women's reproductive rights and spearheaded efforts to establish a second hospital in Olympia, Capital Medical Center, which opened in 1985. She also formed the Western Institutional Review Board, which became the largest, independent medical review board in the world, conducting ethical reviews to ensure that the health and rights of patients in clinical trials were protected.

Based in Olympia, WIRB grew to nearly 300 full and part-time employees by 2007. In 2003 she formed the Middleton Foundation for Ethical Studies, which offered fellowships to medical practitioners around the world, training them in medical research ethics. As a tireless ambassador for human protection in medical trials, she co-authored 31 medical journal papers and made more than 130 presentations at workshops and conferences from Washington, D.C., to Santiago, Chile. In recognition of her career accomplishments, Dr. Bowen received many honors, including a lifetime achievement award from the Association of Clinical Research Professionals in 2008, the leadership in human protection award from the World Health Organization in 2010 and the health care champion award from the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce and Thurston Mason Medical Society in 2013.

Her civic and professional affiliations were many and varied. She served on the Capital Medical Center board of trustees and was a former president of the Thurston-Mason Medical Society. She was a longtime member of the American Medical Association, Washington State Medical Association and American Association for the Advancement of Science. She served on several World Health Organization committees and co-chaired the Doris Duke Foundation Consortium to Examine Clinical Research 2002-2005.

Dr. Bowen had a life-long love of wildlife habitat and open space. She was an avid gardener and enjoyed strolls through the mature forests and ravines found on her 20-acre nature sanctuary and home in West Olympia. She was a lover of animals, including her eights dogs, which were mostly Weimaraners, and the many cats she took into her home over the years. Not one to seek the spotlight, Dr. Bowen had a long history of philanthropy and natural resource conservation in the Olympia area. In 2007, her conservancy foundation preserved the 3.2-acre rhododendron and azalea farm in northeast Olympia, which was created by Art and Peggy Zabel in the late 1960s.

Dr. Bowen donated the park to the City of Olympia in 2015. She also funded major improvements to the Olympia Tumwater Foundation's Tumwater Falls Park. In 2012, Dr. Bowen purchased the Olympia Country and Golf Club, saving it from financial ruin. She invested millions of dollars in club improvements and ensured the property would be protected from real estate development in perpetuity.

Her generosity and kind deeds extended to many friends and family members. Dr. Bowen was preceded in death by her mother, Irene Hardin, her stepfather, Louis Walker Middleton, and husband, Jack Brennan, She is survived by several cousins.

A celebration of life for Dr. Bowen will be held at the Olympia Country and Golf Club on September 26, 2017 from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Dr. Bowen can be made to the Center for Healthy Aging at the Virginia Mason Medical Center in care of the Virginia Mason Foundation, P.O. Box 1930, MS: D1-MF, Seattle, Wash., 98111


Arrangements under the direction of Mills & Mills Funeral Home and Memorial Park, Tumwater, WA.