The Honorable Miller “Goose” Bowen died Thursday, September 10, 2015, at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center.
Judge Bowen was born August 9, 1924, in Zihlman, to William Anthony Bowen and Mary Elizabeth (Miller) Bowen. He and his wife, the former Phyllis M. Lydinger of Cumberland, retired and lived in Fort Pierce, FL. Judge Bowen’s first wife, Ruth Margaret (Shewbridge) Bowen of Lonaconing, was killed in a traffic accident in 1981.
Miller attended LaSalle Institute and graduated from Beall High School in 1942. He signed up for pilot training in World War II when the Army Air Corps recruiter visited the Frostburg State College campus. During the war, he flew 27 missions in B-24 bombers in the Rhineland, Central Europe, and Ardennes battles and campaigns in which he earned 3 Bronze Stars and an Air Metal.
Following his honorable discharge from the military in November 1945, he attended Frostburg State College and the University of Maryland at College Park earning a law degree from the University of Maryland Law School in 1951.
He passed the Maryland bar examination in July 1951 and for the next four years worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a special agent in Kansas City, New Orleans, and Washington, D.C. From 1955 to 1959, Miller worked as a trial attorney in the chief counsel’s office of the Internal Revenue Service.
He practiced law in Cumberland with the firm of Anderson and Bowen from 1959 until his appointment to the District Court bench in May 1971. He was one of the original 79 appointees selected by then Governor Marvin Mandel to serve in the 12 district courts throughout the state. He was reappointed to a second 10 year term by the then Governor Harry Hughes. Judge Bowen retired from the court system in 1987.
Judge Bowen was very active in the community including serving as past president of the Allegany County Bar Association, past potentate of Ali Ghan Shrine and past director of the Shrine Jesters. He was a member of the Masons, Scottish Rite, Frostburg Elks, Cumberland Moose, Frostburg American Legion, Cresaptown Amvets, and the Cumberland Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Goose enjoyed reading, jokes and puns, golfing (until recently), history, ancestry, family, and friends. He will be remembered for his keen wit and humor, sense of fairness to all, his willingness to help others, and his contentment in seeing other succeed.
Miller is survived by his wife Phyllis, Fort Pierce; daughter Victoria (Vicky Bowen) and husband Larry Wiseman, Frostburg; son Robert, Frostburg; step-daughter Tawny (Welch) and husband Charles (Chuck) Tapp, Brentwood, TN; step-daughter Wendy Welch and fiancé Ramin Ghesmati, Ridgeley, WV; 6 grandchildren, Brittany (Bowen) and husband Ken Fleming, Brambleton, VA; Marisa (Bowen) and husband Jason Miller, LaVale, MD; Breanna (Bowen) and husband Travis Jessie, Cumberland, MD; Taylor Tapp, Tanner Tapp, and Carson Tapp, Brentwood TN; and 8 great-grandchildren, Tayden Jessie, Gigi Jessie, and Tyiss Jessie, Cumberland, MD; Kendal Fleming and Jensen Fleming, Brambleton, VA; and Caleb Miller, Evie Miller, and Harbor Miller, LaVale, MD.
In accordance with his wishes, Miller will be cremated.
A celebration of life will be held Sunday, September 13, 2015 at 1:00 pm at Durst Funeral Home, Frostburg. Following the service a light social will be held at the Cumberland Country Club. The family requests in lieu of flowers memorial donations be directed to the Allegany County League of Crippled Children, 12501 Willowbrook Rd, Cumberland, MD 21502 or to WMHS Frostburg Nursing and Rehabilitation Center/ WMHS Foundation, P.O. Box 539, Cumberland, MD 21502
Allegany County League of Crippled Children
PO Box 267, Cumberland MD 21502
WMHS Frostburg Nursing and Rehabilitation Center/ WMHS Foundation
P.O. Box 539, Cumberland MD 21532