Anthony John Bowdler

October 16, 1928March 1, 2021

Anthony John Bowdler (“Tony”), age 92, of Ann Arbor, Michigan passed away on Monday, March 1, 2021, at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. Tony was born October 16, 1928, to Clara McBean Bowdler and Edward Thomas Bowdler in London, England. Raised in London during World War II, Tony assisted his father with neighborhood “fire-watching”, the task of monitoring for incendiary bombs and applying sand bags to extinguish them. Encouraged by his sister, Hilda, to apply himself to his studies, he graduated from the Essex County High School in Leyton, England, and embarked on the study of Medicine. He earned a BSc in 1949 and MBBS in 1952, from the University of London. He was the recipient of the University of London MBBS Gold Medal for top examination performance in 1952. Following house officer appointments, Tony served in the British Navy as a Surgeon Lieutenant on a minesweeper from 1953 to 1955 and then returned to academic medicine. He was attracted by the emerging specialty of Hematology and became a Fellow in Hematology at University College Hospital Medical School. He received his MD from the University of London in 1962, following which he spent two years as a Fulbright Scholar and Senior Fellow in Hematology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine in Rochester, New York. He returned to the University of London and received a Ph.D. for research on the relationship of blood volume to the enlarged spleen. In 1967, Tony joined the faculty of the newly established College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University, in East Lansing, MI, where he became a Professor of Medicine. In 1980, he left to join the faculty of another newly established medical school at Marshall University in Huntington, WV, from which he retired as Emeritus Professor of Medicine in 1997. He was an author of 78 scientific and clinical articles and edited two editions of a textbook on the spleen. He was a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of Pathologists, and the American College of Physicians. Tony met his wife, Madeleine, a nurse-midwife when she demonstrated the use of an incubator for premature infants to his medical school class. They were happily married for 51 years, during which Tony was actively involved in raising their two children, Noelle and Jon. Tony’s experiences during World War II led to a life-long interest in the history of the World Wars and Winston Churchill; he read voraciously. He was interested in economics, politics, and astronomy. He enjoyed traveling with Madeleine, and studying and playing bridge. He made meticulous pen and ink drawings, and after retirement, he enjoyed drawing with his grandson, Danny, as well as playing hockey and sharing stories with Danny. Tony was an active member of St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Ann Arbor, where he was a member of the History Group, Altar Guild, Lectors, Ushers, and shared in leading Evensong. Tony was preceded in death by his father Edward Thomas Bowdler and mother Clara McBean Bowdler, as well as his wife, Eleanor Madeleine Bowdler. Tony is survived by his daughter Noelle Bowdler (Bob Weiss), son Jon Bowdler (Kathy), and grandson, Danny Bowdler. After Madeleine’s death, Tony’s life was enriched by a special friendship with Francoise McMurtrie, with whom he played bridge and shared many common interests. A private graveside service will be held for Tony on Saturday, March 6, 2021. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Bowdler family. Donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, or the Humane Society of Huron Valley.


  • Private Graveside Service

    Saturday, March 6, 2021


Anthony John Bowdler

have a memory or condolence to add?

Dennis Ticknor

March 15, 2021

Jon, I am sorry for your loss. I enjoyed the conversations I had with your Dad!

Marc Subik

March 8, 2021

To the Bowdler family
My condolences on the passing of Dr Bowdler. I was a medical resident at Marshall when he was on staff. He was a very learned physician very smart and always professional You could count on him wearing a white shirt tie and navy blazer always. I can see him now dressed like that and clutching a sheaf of papers. He was always so English and after reading of his childhood and education it is easy to see why. Dr Bowdler taught many residents and students at Marshall and I am grateful for his commitment and dedication to our education.
Dr Marc Subik

Timothy Damron MD

March 8, 2021

I was incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to learn under Dr Bowdler as a medical student and as a resident in internal medicine. Thank you for sharing him.

Sally and Mark Hanselman

March 7, 2021

Our condolences on the death of your father and grandfather. This Covid year was so hard for anyone who had a loved one at Glacier Hills. We hope you were able to be with him.

Madeleine Baier

March 6, 2021

I had no idea that Tony was so well educated, it speaks to the humility he personified. We had several conversations and he never once bragged about it.
Now I know why I always teared up when I heard him recite "In Flanders Field". To his family and friends, I am truly sorry for your loss. May God send His gentlest angels to comfort you.

Marty Davis-Merritts

March 5, 2021

So very sorry to hear of Tony's ascension. We went through Education for Ministry together at St. Andrew's and he told the most fascinating stories about his life in wartime London. He was the epitome of what it means to be a gentleman and scholar. He was a good friend and he will be missed.

JoAnn Socha

March 5, 2021

My deepest sympathy for your loss and ours at St. Andrew’s. He will be dearly missed by all.

Such a fine person.

Warm wishes,