Former state lawmaker Bowles of Houston dead at 78

By The Associated Press

HOUSTON — William Eugene “Billy” Bowles, who served 20 years in the Mississippi House of Representatives and ran Bowles Grocery for 34 years, has died. He was 78.

Officials with Houston Funeral Home said Monday that Bowles died Sunday at Sanctuary Hospice House in Tupelo. Services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Houston First United Methodist Church in Houston, Miss.

Bowles, a staunch support of small business, retired from the Legislature in 2004. The country storekeeper was known for standing up during debates to ask who wanted a certain bill. He was chairman of the Oil and Gas Committee from 1992-2004.

Survivors include his wife, Ruby Kate Wooldridge Bowles of Houston; two sons; six grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and a brother.