Virgil Bowles Passes Away in Indianapolis

April 13, 2009, 7 p.m. (ET)

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) - USA Judo is saddened to announce that Virgil Bowles (Indianapolis, Ind.) passed away on April 9 at the age of 75, following a heart attack sustained two weeks prior.

An eighth degree black belt, Bowles dedicated more than 40 years to teaching the sport of judo and was the founder of Virgil's Judo Club.  Bowles was actively involved in all areas of the sport as a National-Level referee and an A-Level kata judge

"Virgil was a nice man who never let judo organizational politics taint his love of the sport or his willingness to support anything in judo, regardless of organization," said USA Judo General Secretary and Past President Dr. Ron Tripp (Norman, Okla.) "I considered him a good friend and will miss him greatly as the quiet, gentle soul he was at every event I recall."

Bowles was a Sergeant in the Army and a Veteran of the Korean Warm before working as a quality inspector for 41 years at Ford Motor Company.

Bowles is survived by his wife of 56 years, Mary Jean Bowles; children Virgil Bowles, Jr., Brenda Bowles-Harber and Walter Bowles; and grandchildren Joshua Bowles and Amy Bowles.

Visitation will be held on April 17 from 4-8 p.m. at the Legacy Funeral Center, 9350 East Washington St., Indianapolis, Ind. 46229 (  

The funeral also will be held at Legacy Funeral Center at 11 a.m. on April 18.