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Elizabethtown City Council member Ron Thomas said Floe Bowles was his first and best boss.
Bowles served as publisher of The News-Enterprise from 1975 until his retirement in 1987 and worked nearly 50 years for the paper and its predecessors, the Hardin County Enterprise and The Elizabethtown News. He also was a founding influence in the establishment of The Turret, a newspaper serving Fort Knox.
Bowles died in 2002 at age 90.
Thomas said Bowles was on his route when he delivered papers at age 15.
Thomas thought it would be a good idea to place his boss’ newspaper behind the outer door.
After about a week of that, Bowles told him he should deliver his paper the same way as everyone else’s.
Thomas said Bowles had life lessons for everyone he knew.
“I love the man dearly,” he said. “He was a super person, and I will never forget him.”
Thomas’ story was one of several that circulated among Bowles’ family, friends and co-workers as they remembered him Tuesday during a ceremony for the redesignation of Strawberry Lane as Floe Bowles Way.
Elizabethtown City Council granted the newspaper’s request to do so in March. The portion of the street being renamed runs from West Dixie Avenue to Maple Street and surrounds the newspaper’s office complex.
During his remarks, Mayor Tim Walker said he remembered Bowles’ advice to him during his candidacy: to always be honest and consistent.
Walker said Bowles was important to the newspaper and the community.
Frank Batten Jr., who succeeded Bowles as publisher and is chairman of the newspaper’s parent company, Landmark Media Enterprises, said he remembered riding in the passenger seat of Bowles’ car.
“It really is appropriate that a road is being named after him because he had a unique approach to driving,” he said, laughing. “His approach to driving was that he owned the whole road.”
More seriously, Batten said Bowles always put customers first and always cared about the people with whom he worked.
“It’s important to honor the heroes of the past and he was one of our heroes,” he said.
Batten said it was important not only to remember Bowles, but also to inspire people to follow in his footsteps, the “Floe Bowles Way.”
Bowles’ daughter, Barbara Clagett, said her father often spoke during his last years of life of his career and co-workers, hoping he had left a positive legacy.
“Dad was always Dad from day one until the end,” she said. “He never changed.”
Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or firstname.lastname@example.org.