By Lisa Voyles
HOUSTON – Houston Mayor Stacy W. Parker said the location of a bridge dedicated to late Rep. William E. “Billy” Bowles was indicative of Bowles’ vision for his community and state.
Parker said the Highway 15 bridge, which rises over Highway 8 east of Houston is, “overseeing progress to come.”
Bowles was District 22 state representative from 1984 to 2004 and was credited by Northern District Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert for his efforts in road and bridge funding and construction during his tenure, including the passage of the 1987 Four-Lane Act.
“We appreciate the legacy of Billy Bowles more than you know,” Tagert said, adding the bride dedication is, “a fitting tribute…it will serve as a reminder, going forward, of his service.”
Current District 22 Rep. Preston Sullivan, D-Okolona, succeeded Bowles at his retirement from public service and remembered a colleague and friend.
“He always put his district first, and his family, the people of District 22,” Sullivan said.
Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville, remembered Bowles as a man who could clear up a complicated legislative matter with one sentence.
“He would say, ‘Who asked for this bill?’” Holland said. “That would change the entire debate. He was always on the job, always there.”
Bowles died in September 2012, leaving his wife, Ruby Kate, brother, Howard, two sons, Mike and Steve Pearson, and their families, including six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, but he also left a legacy in Houston, District 22 and the state that will not soon be forgotten.
“We are appreciative of the things he was willing to do for his community and state,” Parker said.
“I miss him every day, Ruby Kate,” Holland said. “Every day I think of Billy Bowles. He had that kind of spirit, that kind of attitude.”