ELIZABETHTON — Former Elizabethton Mayor Pat “Red” Bowers died Saturday at his home after a short illness.
His son, Tom “Yogi” Bowers said “he loved Elizabethton and all the employees of the city. He was proud of his service to the city. I believe he was on the City Council for 17 years and that was the longest for anyone.”
His son has also become active in local politics and serves as chairman of the Carter County Commission. “He influenced me greatly,” the younger Bowers said of his father.
“His passing is like the passing of an icon,” Elizabethton City Manager Fred Edens Jr. said. “He knew he was like a father figure to me. I lost my own father and grandfather earlier and I looked up to him.”
Former Elizabethton City Manager Charles Stahl said Bowers always understood the concerns and interests of the citizens of the town during his lengthy service on the City Council.
“He was the mayor when I was hired as city manager,” Stahl said. “It is sad that we have lost Pat ‘Red’ Bowers and Ralph Cole within a few hours of each other.” He said the two men were close friends and both dedicated many hours to working for the city and helping others.
Former Mayor Sam LaPorte said “it was a joy working with him. I found that he was always thinking of his community. It is sad that they should leave within 12 hours of each other. They both contributed so much to their community and they both were dedicated to making Elizabethton and Carter County better. There just aren’t many people like then anymore.”
“We have lost a good one,” City Councilwoman Nancy Alsup said. “We worked together on the council from 1996 to 2010.” She was close to both Bowers and Cole and said their passing is a great loss to the city.