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Charles Latimer Gowen

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Charles Latimer Gowen Obituary

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CHARLES LATIMER GOWEN Age 99, of Atlanta and St. Simons Island died on Monday at his Atlanta home. A graveside funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday in the churchyard at Christ Church, Frederica on St. SimonsIsland with Rev. John Law officiating. Mr. Gowen was born in Westgate, Iowa, but came to Brunswick at an early age. He graduated from Glynn Academy in 1921 and received his law degree from the University of Georgia Law School in 1925. While at the University he was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, Sphinx and Gridiron honoraries, Demosthenian literary society, and was Business Manager of the 1925 Pandora. He was admitted to the bar upon his graduation and returned to Brunswick in July 1925, to enter the practice of law as a partner of the late Judge C.B. Conyers in the firm of Conyers & Gowen. He practiced law in Brunswick for thirty-six years and served as Brunswick Junvenile Court Judge from 1939 to 1946. Also in 1939 he was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives where he served until his voluntary retirement in 1960, except for a two-year absence when he ran a respected but unsuccessful race for Governor in 1954. While in the Legislature he was Chairman of both the Appropriations and Judiciary Committees and was a member of the 1945 State Constitution Revision Committee. He was elected by his fellow lawyers President of the Georgia Bar Association for the 1945-46 term, and in 1958 he was elected a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. In 1962 Mr. Gowen was invited to become a senior partner in the Atlanta firm of King & Spalding. He and his wife Evelyn moved to Atlanta where he practiced trial law and became involved in civic activities. He served as Chairman of the Citizens Committee of the Georgia General Assembly, Chairman of the State Commission on Compensation, President and Chairman of the Fulton County Unit of the American Cancer Society and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School. He served as President of the Capital City Club and was a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He was a member of the American Bar Association, the Lawyers Foundation of Georgia, the Roosevelt Warm Springs Memorial Advisory Committee, and the Board of Trustes of Presbyterian Homes of Georgia. Mr. Gowen's courtroom appearances covered half a century and include his successful argument before the United States Supreme Court in 1968 representing the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. in a precedent-setting case involving church-state conflict and his successful defense in 1972 of the Coca-Cola Company in an anti-trust jury trial. Mr. Gowen served on the University of Georgia Law School's Board of Visitors and was a recipient of the Law School Association's Distinguished Service Scroll. In July, 2002, his family honored him with the dedication of the Charles Latimer Gowen Courtyard on the University's Old Campus. A member of First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta, he was also a charter member of St. Simons Presbyterian Church. He was a member of the Atlanta-Homasassa Fishing Club, Capital City Club, Piedmont Driving Club, and Sea Island Club. His favorite pastimes were travel, golf, fishing, and spectator sports, especially University of Georgia football, and he often participated in these activities with family and friends. He was a member of the University of Georgia Alumni Association and the Glynn Academy Alumni Association. He is survived by two daughters, Anne Gowen Spalding of Atlanta and St. Simons Island and Mary Evelyn Gowen Wood of St. Simons Island; a sister, Gladys Gowen Fendig of St. Simons Island; a step-sister, Jean Gowen Smith of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; two step-brothers, Richard Gowen of Jacksonville, Florida; and James Gowen of Sallisaw, OK; eight grandchildren includihng Elizabeth S. Morgan, Maysie S. Beeson and John P. Spalding of Atlanta, and Charles G. Spalding of St. Simons Island, and James W. Spalding of Newport News, Virginia, both formerly of Atlanta; fifteen great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Presbyterian Homes of Georgia, Inc., P.O. Drawer 909, Quitman, GA. 31643, or . Edo Miller & Sons Funeral Home of Brunswick is in charge of arrangements.
RELATED: AJC article about Charles Latimer Gowen
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Apr. 1, 2003
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