A popular Rockford talk show host passes away. According to family members, WNTA's Chris Bowman died from complications related to alcoholism at Saint Anthony Medical Center Tuesday morning.
The death of the 51-year-old Rockford native comes as shock to his family, friends and listeners, many of who are coping by remember Chris' colorful and rich life.
The lines at WNTA lit up all day long as the community remembered the life of Chris Bowman, but the shock has not worn off.
"He was a character. He was always fun to work with. It hasn't sunk in yet," says Ken Decoster, WNTA News reporter.
Bowman was known for strong opinions and his willingness to take on anyone. Bowman's journalistic career actually started at 23 WIFR in 1979. He worked several jobs in politics before returning to radio. His show at WNTA was on the air for almost ten years.
"If something was going on he just knew where to push the buttons and get the information. He was our investigative reporter at WNTA," says Mark Mayhew, WNTA News reporter.
The Guilford High grad also knew how to push other buttons.
"He was very opinionated, but he was fair," says Mayhew.
Bowman hosted all the big names in our community but more importantly he gave everyday citizens a voice.
"I was petrified to actual know thousands of people were listening. He made feel so at ease," says Ted Biondo, a friend of Chris Bowman and a frequent show guest.
While not everyone agreed with Chris Bowman's views, most agree he'll be sorely missed.
"He had a lot of knowledge and that knowledge is gone," Biondo says.
Bowman was taken to the hospital Sunday morning when he suddenly became ill.