Remembering Bill Stowe Through His Own Words, Longtime Leader Dead of Cancer
POSTED 10:57 PM, APRIL 14, 2019, BY DAVE PRICE, UPDATED AT 10:59PM, APRIL 14, 2019
DES MOINES, Iowa — Longtime Des Moines leader Bill Stowe spent the past few decades protecting Iowans from storms, warning them of pending climate changes and suing when he felt others weren’t taking action to protect the water supply. Stowe died Sunday in hospice care at the age of 60 after battling an advanced stage of pancreatic cancer.
Since 2012 Stowe had served as the CEO of Des Moines Water Works, until he resigned early this month due to his failing health. Before that he was the director of the Des Moines Public Works Department.
"He is truly a gem for the city of Des Moines," State Senator Claire Celsi, a West Des Moines Democrat, said of his commitment to public service and the environment, "I don't think people realized what they had in Bill Stowe."
Other metro leaders shared their reflections on Stowe's death.
I first met Bill Stowe when I was WDM City Council's representative on the WRA. I gained a tremendous amount of respect for him during that time, and it has continued to today. I admired his intellect, leadership ability, and desire to do what he believed was right. RIP https://t.co/0Eje78t1lJ— Charles Schneider (@SenSchneider) April 14, 2019
Rest In Peace, Bill Stowe. pic.twitter.com/YWkY4m9hRN— Matt McCoy (@mccoyforiowa) April 15, 2019
It is with a sad heart that we share that our friend Bill Stowe has passed away. Bill was a great advocate for water quality, and we will miss him dearly. https://t.co/gJjuYHxVOZ— Drake Ag Law Center (@DrakeAgLawCtr) April 15, 2019
Such sad news...Bill Stowe fought for everyone's right to clean drinking water and a better environment.....He was fearless, principled and deeply respected ?? He will be missed. https://t.co/0tAdAEqaTT— Sharon Steckman (@SSteckman) April 14, 2019
"Bill was a steadfast ally, someone we at Iowa CCI, and the people of Iowa, could always count on to fight the good fight. He never hesitated to say what needed to be said on tough issues," Hugh Espey, executive director of the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement.
Services are pending for Stowe, according to a family friend.