Clotilde Dent Bowen

20 March, 19233 March, 2011


Dr. Bowen was born March 20, 1923 in Chicago, IL., the second of three children, to the late William Marion and Clotilde (Tynes) Dent. She departed this life on Thursday, March 3, 2011, at Porter Adventist Hospital, Denver, CO. She was preceded in death by her sister, Maryella Jean Dent Lane and her brother, William Marion Dent, Jr. From the age of three, she was raised on an Army Post in Columbus, Ohio, by her maternal Aunt and Uncle, 1st Lt. Stephen Barrows, (USA), a Buffalo Soldier, and Maude (Tynes) Barrows. She was also preceded in death by her husband, Dr. William Nolan Bowen. She is survived by many beloved relatives and friends and her friend and companion of many years, Micki Athans, as well as her constant companions, Little Gypsy Bear and her beloved cat, Whiskers.

Dr. Bowen completed public education in Columbus, and became the first black woman to graduate from The Ohio State University, School of Medicine, from which she has received numerous honors and awards. She commenced medical practice as a Pulmonologist, in her private office in Harlem, New York, during which time she also worked in three major hospitals in New York City. She attained many ‘firsts’ throughout her life, including; first woman doctor in the United States Army, accepting her commission as Captain, in 1956, serving as a pulmonary specialist at Valley Forge, PA. She worked for the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Roseburg, Oregon as an Internist, later pursuing a residency in Psychiatry through the V.A. in Albany, NY. She returned to Oregon, and upon learning of the untimely death of the first young man in the state, to be killed in the Navy following only three weeks of duty during the Vietnam War, she returned to military service as a Psychiatrist. She served at Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii, Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center, Denver, CO., as Director of CHAMPUS, Chief of Psychiatry, and Chief of the Out-Patient Clinic. From 1970-1971, Colonel Bowen was sent to Vietnam as the Neuro-Psychiatric Physician for the entire U.S. Army for which she receive the American Legion of Merit. She became an avid advocate in issues related to drug-alcohol and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She was the first woman commander of any military hospital, upon assignment to Ft. Benjamin Harrison, Indianapolis, IN. Subsequent to retirement from military service in 1996, Dr. Bowen accepted employment with the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals, in Chicago, IL., traveling throughout the United States. She later returned to the V.A. as Chief of Psychiatry in Cheyenne, WY. And the V.A. Clinic in Colorado Springs, CO. Subsequent to retirement from the Veterans’ Administration, Dr. Bowen accepted numerous assignments in several states as an independent physician through ‘Locum Tenens’ employment, helping to offset the shortage of trained professionals. She formally retired from medical practice in 2008. She was granted medical licenses in the states of Ohio, New York, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. As a member of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), she accepted their request to assist in developing and establishing the program on Emergency Psychiatry. She received the prestigious award of ‘Fellow’ of the APA; ‘Fellow’ of the Central Neuro-Psychiatric Association; ‘Fellow’ of The Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine, and the U.C.C.F. Eminent Scholar Award, in addition to many others. In 1972 she was given the Denver Business and Professional Woman of the Year Award. In 2001-2001, she wrote a monthly column entitled “Compass” in the Denver Post Newspaper; she described her life as “Been there! Done that!” Dr. Bowen was well known as a public speaker throughout the country in various organizations and universities. She accepted staff teaching positions from the University of WY., at Laramie and The University of Colorado School of Medicine, in Denver. Dr. Bowen loved life to the fullest, rarely sleeping more than 3-4 hours nightly. She loved and believed in her country, enjoying and interacting with all individuals on all levels of life. She was strong and independent, fighting for the rights of others regardless of their respective issues. Her greatest joy was spending time with friends and family, sharing her life experiences, encouraging everyone to be the best they could be; to pursue their dreams and Reach for the Stars!

A memorial service will be held at the United States Air Force Academy, Community Center Chapel located at the USAFA Community Center, at 2:00 PM on March 15th, with visitation from 1:15 to 1:45 PM (prior to the service.) Burial with full military honors will be held at Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, DC. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contribution be made to the Salvation Army for homeless, or drug/alcohol programs at Colorado Springs; or the Colorado Springs Humane Society. Arrangements made by Swan Law Funeral Home, 501 N. Cascade Ave, Colorado Springs, CO.

Arrangements under the direction of Swan-Law Funeral Directors, Colorado Springs, CO.


  • Funeral Service

    Tuesday, 15 March , 2011


Clotilde Dent Bowen

have a memory or condolence to add?

Elsie Connor

5 April 2011

Clo, you were a lot of things to many people but to me you were a dear friend. When we met five years ago in El Paso, TX, our friendship began immediately. When you reached for my hand, you touched my heart. I learned very quickly that your sheer presence reflected one of attition and respect. Even though you lived an extraordinary life, your ordinary demeanor captivated everyone you met. In your eyes second best was never acceptable. You persevered many sacrifices of responsibility to achieve excellence at the top of your field. You thought of your birth not as a right but as a privilege. My friendship with you will be irreplaceble and those who met you throughout your life's journey will never forget your kindness and caring love of encouragement.

Love Your Friend,

Mary Foley

4 April 2011

Dear Clo: I just cannot imagine not speaking with you on the phone anymore or by email. We spanned so many years from our first meeting in Denver just after you returned from your tour of duty in Vietnam. Our army careers dovetailed in many places and we always managed to have fun each time we met. We were close personal friends as well as colleagues and I thought sure you would live to be 100. You will be in my heart forever. Love, LT/COL Mary D Foley, (ANC), USA (ret)

Gene Wilkinson

31 March 2011

May God bless Clo. She was a great friend and inspiration to me through the years. Our friendship goes back to our days at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, Aurora, CO. The world is a better place as a result of Clo's labors on this earth. She was one of a kind and I will miss her very much.

Judy Hampton

29 March 2011

Clo, May God fill your dear friends with loving, beautiful memories of you and your life with them. You touched so many of us in so many different ways! Thank you for serving our country and supporting our service men and women.

Judy Banko

28 March 2011

Dr Bowen, I am sorry I did not get to meet you when you were in El Paso, but have heard many good things about you and the many contributions you made on your life's journey. You were a blessing to our Joy Class and we are forever grateful to you. Thank you for your Service to our great country.

Cynthia Houston-Brickey, ANC, Ret.

17 March 2011

I will never forget our initial meeting at Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center almost thirty years ago. Our friendship was an immediate one; that day you invited me to your beautiful home overlooking the Air Force Academy, and over the years it was always wonderful to hear about the cats and your and Mikki's adventures.
You touched so many people through your caring,compassion,knowledge,wit, and wisdom. But you also were the shoulders many others needed to lean or stand on. You truly will be missed, but you'll remain ever present. You rode long and hard. Now that your journey's ended, rest well, Dear "Buffalo Soldier Woman".

14 March 2011

Dr. Clo,
I was honored to care for you. You will be missed by your family, friends, co-workers, care givers and patients. May God be with your family and loved ones. April Romero

14 March 2011

I felt Blessed to have worked with Dr. Bowen. You will be missed by everyone who knew and loved you. May God Bless your family . (Nurse at Co. Springs VA Clinic) Linda Carpenter

Tanya Wallace

14 March 2011

Clo -

You will be deeply missed. I was honored to meet you and give you a tour of the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy at Fort Bliss, TX. You were amazed at what our beloved Army is doing to educate and care for senior enlisted leaders and their families. We even spoke about having you as a guest speaker at one of our cultural observances; sadly, that didn't happen. Without you, I and other women veterans may not have had the opportunity to serve our great nation. Your knowledge, dedication and compassion are the pathways we followed to successful careers and retirement. You were truly a woman of God and I am very blessed to have met you. May your family, loved ones, and friends keep memories of you and all you accomplished close to their hearts always. A grateful retired First Sergeant.

13 March 2011

Cloe...we will miss you so very much. Our lives were so blessed by your's and Micki's friendship. You saved our lives in a way you will never know and we will miss you tremendously. You were a God-Send to us. You were an incredible woman. We love & miss you..Terry & Debbie Fowler

From the Family