Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Officer Stephen Allen Bowman

United States Department of Agriculture - Forest Service Law Enforcement and Investigations, U.S. Government

End of Watch Wednesday, June 24, 1998

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Reflections for Officer Stephen Allen Bowman

Officer Bowman,
On today, the 25th anniversary of your death I would just like t say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

June 24, 2023

I am proud to have had the pleasure of knowing Steve and call him my buddy. He was always coming up with something to keep you laughing, even when there seemed to be nothing going right. Steve was a person, that if you ever met him you would remember his sayings and quick wit. I think of him often, and use a lot of his sayings. Steve, Thank You for the knowledge you gave me while hunting, and life lessons on how to treat folks (like you Neighbor) even while they were breaking the law. I will never forget you buddy!!!!


July 18, 2022

We will never forget you and always love you uncle Steve. We miss you every single day.

Julia Bowman Elliott

June 29, 2021

What a wonderful neighbor you and your wife were. What a hero you still are too me. You are one of the reasons why I got into law enforcement. Steve as long as I am alive you will always be remembered.
Thank you so much for being a great man.
I know that one day I will see you again.
God took the best when he took you home.

Officer K. Collins
Knox county SRO

June 24, 2020

Thank you for your service and always know that your sacrifice is one that will never be forgotten. Rest in peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

June 24, 2020

Officer Bowman, the love and respect felt toward you comes through in these reflections. What a legacy! You will never be gone and never be forgotten, because you will be in the hearts and minds of others forever.

Tina Lewis Rowe
Captain, Denver Police Department (ret.)
U.S. Marshal, Colorado (ret.)

February 25, 2017

Time may have passed but you are not forgotten. I believe as long as someone remembers you or speaks your name, you are still with us.
Thank you for your heroism.
GOD Bless

Detention Officer A.Zambito

June 24, 2015

I met and worked with Steve during the summer of 1989 on the Cherokee as an intern Criminal Justice student. We quickly became good friends, he was my friend, brother and mentor. After that summer, I knew I would spend my career in Law Enforcement and Investigations. He looked after me like a brother and taught me many life lessons that I still carry and cherish today. I was on a strict budget and lived in a horse barn in Jonesborough, TN where I also worked. One day at lunch we went to a drive thru and I didn't have any money and was too embarrassed to mention it. Even though I was hungry, I just said I wasn't hungry. Steve knew I was broke, he ordered food for me then handed me a $20 and said, "Here, use this son for what you need". I was too embarrassed to take it, but he insisted. I told him I would pay him back when I got paid, his response: "Don't worry about it son, it's not a loan, it's a gift". I will never forget that. I stayed in touch and visited Steve often after that summer and visited him, and Gail when Cody was in the hospital and I was working undercover, he didn't recognize me at first, he was so grateful for the visit. Classic Steve was having a 'Dew' and a Marlboro and said, "keep yer head low and yer powder dry son". He always had a laugh and a joke. That was the last time I saw him alive. I spent days on the mountain with other law enforcement brothers and his blood brothers searching for him. I just knew that at any time I or we would top a ridge and see him with just an injured leg or something, smoking a Marlboro and he might say, 'well, it took you SOB's long enough to get here, let man lay up here for days without a "Dew", that would have been classic Steve. A day doesn't go by that I don't think of him. God bless your wonderful family, rest in peace, and I will see you in Heaven!!

Former Police Officer, Chuck Baker
Kingsport Police Dept. Investigator State of TN.

July 3, 2013

I'm thinking about my old buddy. The world has been a much less interesting place without Steve. My love and best regards to all the members of his amazing family as we approach this sad anniversary once again. As my ol' bud would yer back and keep yer powder dry...where's my dew....?

Wiilton Stribling
USFS Ret, best of friends

June 16, 2013

Thank you for your service and for helping to make America a safer place.

Deputy Brian Jones
Boulder County Sheriff's Office, CO

December 28, 2012

Officer Bowman,
On today, the 12th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


U.S. Border Patrol

June 24, 2012

Ain't much changed, ole buddy. I think there's still some folks trying to set on your coattails.

I'm in E TN this week, and have thought a lot about Steve and his family. He was by far the funniest guy I've ever known.

His death was a brutal blow to all his friends. Still is.

Steve loved his friends and family, and told things the way they were.

To be an honest man is not afforded nearly the status these days that it used to be. He left here when it was still fashionable.

Steve was an amazing guy. They broke the mold when they made that boy.

When I lost Steve, I lost a true brother.

Rest in peace, and keep your powder dry, Bud.

Wilton Stribling
best bud

June 17, 2011

Your heroism and service is honored today, the eleventh anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer who was murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered.

Rest In Peace.

Phyllis Loya


June 24, 2009

Steve, it is difficult to believe that it was 10 years ago that we lost you. I will never forget the phone call telling me your ship was missing after a sudden violent thunderstorm, and asking me to go tell your wife. I will never forget the look on your young son's face when he realized what it meant for me to be standing in your front door late that night.

I also will not forget how much fun it was to work with you. You were the best field officer I have ever seen and could make a shift go by in a heartbeat. I can't count how many times I went home with aching ribs after laughing through a shift with you!! Those of us who had the honor of knowing you still share your stories and laugh just as hard with each retelling. As an FTO, I share those with my trainees so they will carry the torch of the heroes who have blazed the trail for the rest of us.

You loved your family, your God, and your friends. It is a great tribute to you that 10 years after the end of your watch, we still remember and smile. I look forward to the day that we can again swap a story and a laugh. Until then, know you are missed, my brother, my mentor, my friend.

LEO Kimberly A. Coleman
USDA Forest Service, Cherokee NF

June 24, 2008

"The Badge"

He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.

He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.

Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.

He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.

His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.

He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.

And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.

But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.

Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.

Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.

So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.

In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.

Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.

Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1993 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

March 18, 2008

I just looked at this memorial and realized it was Steve. I remember when this crash happened but the local station made it sound like it was a USFS civilian employee and I didn't realize it was an officer. I worked with Steve in the summer of 1987 in Graham County NC during the Rainbow Family hippie reunion. He was a quiet, reserved, friendly and professional officer who took his job seriously. He was fun to work with and he was very much opened up once you got to know him. What a sad loss of life. Steve now patrols a beat in Heaven with St. Michael. He is greatly missed. Rest easy brother, we have it from here.

Chief JA Millan
Avery Co. NC Public Schools Law Enforcement

October 30, 2006

I was fortunate to work with Steve for 10 years on the Cherokee National Forest. During that time, Steve was more than just a co-worker, he was a friend.

His love of God, his family, work and life is what made this man very special. Everyone that knew Steve were touched by him.

To this day, I can still recall many of the stories that Steve told and hear the sound of his laughter echoing through the mountains of Tennessee.

Steve is deeply missed but he will never be forgotten.

Otis D. Burden, Patrol Commander
US Forest Service

I recall when this tragic crash occurred. I saw it on the local TV news, we get Tenn. TV, channel 5 Bristol for our local news on the NC-Tenn. border.

I never realized until today this was Steve killed in the crash. He worked Cherokee Nat'l. Forest on the NC-Tenn. border and I worked with him during the 1987 "Rainbow Family Gathering" in Graham County, in the Nantahalla National Forest.

Despite the day-to-day challenges of mainting law emforcement for over 12,000 stinking, crazy and drug-impaired, 1960's leftover hippies, many of whom were cons and fugitives, Steve did a professional and commendable job.

He was a soft-spoken, friendly and dedicated lawman, who did his job. He is greatly missed. The US government los a fine officer on that sad day. Steve did so much to protect our public lands. I pray for his family, friends and colleagues.

He now patrols the streets of Heaven with St. Michael. Be safe and God Bless.

Chief JA Millan

Chief JA Millan
NC Public Schools, Avery Dist. SP

Steve, you were one of the biggest supporters in my quest to become a law enforcement officer. My first road check was with you and Stribling. I'll never forget you and I think of you often. Until the day comes when we can meet again, rest easy my brother.

L.E.O Scott Cairnes
US Forest Service, Sumter NF

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