Dr. Paul Bower

March 30, 1926 - April 17, 2009

A prominent Palos Verdes Peninsula physician, Dr. Paul L. Bower, died Friday, April 17, 2009, at USC Hospital, after complications following heart surgery.

Born in Lima, Ohio, on March 30, 1926 to Lloyd and Gladys Bower, he showed early promise. As a high school junior in Waukesha, he won the prestigious Westinghouse Science Award. He taught physics to his high school senior class, was the class valedictorian, a member of the school’s swim team and became proficient in diving.

In 1943, Bower entered the U.S. Navy’s V-12 program at Purdue University, winning his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, summa cum laude, in 1945. In November, he became a pre-med student at the University of Wisconsin, completing that course work in one year.

Bower met his future wife, Thea Kaiser, while in medical school. They married Aug. 14, 1948. Bower won the prestigious Alpha Omega Honor Society award in his junior year. He graduated from medical school in 1951.

After graduation, Bower interned at Philadelphia General Hospital. While there, the Bowers’ first child was born. Andrea Bower would follow in her father’s footsteps and became a doctor herself.

In 1952, the Bowers moved to Chicago, where he joined the Marshall Field Clinic. In the next five years, Karen and David were born.

The Bower family moved to Redondo Beach in 1957 and bought their Rolling Hills Estates home on the day the city was founded, Sept. 18, 1957.

Bower began a residency program in family practice at Harbor Hospital, and helped develop the Research and Education Institute, known today as LABioMed. He headed the medical staff at Riviera Hospital, known now as the Torrance Memorial Medical Center.

He was a delegate to the American Medical Association and president of the local chapter. He and Dr. Phyllis Monroe chaired the family practice residency program at San Pedro Hospital. He served on the board of Trinity Care Hospice, the board of governors at City of Hope and on the board of the Norris Center for the Performing Arts.

Among his many voluntary avocational pursuits, Bower employed his engineering expertise in helping plan the Harlyne J. Norris Pavilion. He helped install the plumbing and planned its floating dance floor. The Bowers loved to travel and in 1985, Paul formed a globe-ranging travel group among their closest friends. Bower loved model trains and loved to travel aboard their life-size counterparts. He had a particular fondness for boats, especially a vintage tug boat housed at the Maritime Museum in San Pedro, Calif. He also was an avid tennis player.

Bower is survived by Thea, his wife of 60 years; their daughters Andrea Bower, M.D., and Karen Bower Khulman, her husband, Corky, and their children, Bon and Sky. He also is survived by his son, David, his wife, Lynn, and their children Warren, Evan and Rachael, as well as his sister, Doris Olinger of Clearwater, Fla.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations may be made in Paul Bower’s name to the Maritime Museum in San Pedro and to the Norris Center for the Performing Arts, Palos Verdes Peninsula, Calif.

Services were held for Bower on Friday, May 15, at the Rolling Hills United Methodist Church in Rolling Hills Estates. Well-wishers can sign a guest book at