Peggy Bowman

44 entries | 2 photos
  • "May Peggys memory continue to be a blessing. "
    - Laura King
  • "It's been a year now and there has been so many times I..."
    - Brian
  • "Dictionaries and encyclopedias often have photos to..."
  • "Peggy, was a Hero for all. A courageous leader and..."
    - Kristi Oberg
  • - Sylvia Thorson-Smith
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Bowman, Peggy passed away Thursday, July 7, 2016, of heart failure. Her condition was undoubtedly aggravated by the catastrophe known as Sam Brownback and Kris Kobach. Peggy was born April 9, 1941, to Lena Early and John DeWitt Bowman. She grew up on a farm with her two sisters, Brenda (Tom Smith) and Beverly (Duane Lawson), and brother George Grattan (JoAnn Bowman). A graduate of James Madison University, Peggy started her life in a traditional role as a biology teacher (Annandale HS), wife, and mother. A beloved teacher and class sponsor, her students kept in touch with her over the years. Midway through life, she evolved into a fierce advocate for women's rights. After a move to Wichita, Peggy worked at Vista. On a whim, she applied with Planned Parenthood and the rest is history. After working her way up to Executive Director of PP, she became the lobbyist for Dr. George Tiller. Peggy was the face of abortion rights in Wichita. During the 1991 Summer of Mercy, Peggy was on the front line. She endured the anti's threats and protests on her lawn. Peggy lobbied in Topeka, led rallies, handled reporters, and worked the fair-anything to get the word out that women matter. After her retirement from Dr. Tiller's clinic, she was honored with the naming of the Peggy Bowman Second Chance Fund, a non-profit that makes abortion accessible to women who could not otherwise afford it. In May, she was inducted into the the Greater Kansas City Women's Political Caucus Hall of Fame. A woman of many talents, Peggy chronicled the extremism and violence of the 1991 siege on the clinic in her book Fetus Fanatics. She also contributed to Radiating the Stone, an anthology of essays from Wichita's greatest feminists. Above all, Peggy loved her children, Brian and Jeff and his wife, Jan, her grandchildren, Cady, Allie, Savannah, and Ethan, Barefoot wine, liberal politics, good food, friends, all things sports (especially tennis), and MSNBC. Our biggest regret is that she won't witness the inauguration of our first female president. Long ago, Peggy wrote her wishes that she wanted to be cremated without a service. She didn't want her family to hide that she was a lesbian. Luckily the world has changed since she wrote those notes. Gay marriage is the law of the land. We have a long way to go, but Peggy was right: there is no shame in being LGBT! To honor Peggy, we ask that you donate to the Peggy Bowman Second Chance Fund at www.secondchancefund.net. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Summer of Mercy and the anti's will be back in force. Fight back with unprecedented donations to the fund.
Published in The Wichita Eagle on July 10, 2016
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