Retired area judge N. Russell Bower of Panama City passed away Wednesday morning in a local hospital.
Judge Bower graduated for Troy State University in Alabama and the received his law degree from the University of Florida. He was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1968.
During his career Bower was Chief Assistant State Attorney for Leo Jones. In 1977 he was elected as a County Judge for Bay County. He had barely been elected when then Governor Reubin Askew appointed him to a vacancy on the Circuit Court for 14th Judicial Circuit which includes Bay and 5 surrounding counties. Bower served as Circuit Judge from 1977 to 2002 when he retired.
Friends say he was admitted to a Panama City hospital 10 days ago.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete.