Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Officer William Lee Bowlin

Metro Nashville Police Department, Tennessee

End of Watch Wednesday, August 4, 1982

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Officer William Lee Bowlin

Sweet "Billy Bob" I remember this night like it was just last week. I was just six years old, but I adored you. My uncle Dukie was your partner. You would visit my nannie's house often for some beans and cornbread. My uncle brought many over throughout the years, but you were ALWAYS my favorite. Just a sweet man with the best smile. I tell your story often to many people I meet what a great young officer that was taking from the world way too soon over senseless violence!!!

Stacy Pardue Johnson
Family Friend

August 5, 2019

Badge 1073

You chose to follow the path
Of the man you wanted to be;
You trained for months,
And took the oath,
And assigned Badge 1073

You protected and served daily,
Your beloved Nashville Community,
You fought the fight,
Upheld the law,
You were Badge 1073

You never met a stranger;
You inspired, & influenced, you see…
Your Christian ways,
Your gentle soul,
You’re more than Badge 1073

We got the call that night
It’s not true, NO it can’t be
Devastated & heartbroken
Officer Bill Bowlin
Beloved Badge 1073

You’re gone but not forgotten,
Your legacy will always be,
In the hearts and souls
Of lives you touched
In Honor of Badge 1073

Written by Sissy Copelin Bentley

Sissy Copelin Bentley

May 23, 2018

My Dearest Bill,
Here it is, almost 36 years later and not a has day gone by that I haven't thought about you. Like the words in a song, "It ain't fair, you died too young, like a story that had just begun, but death tore the pages all away". Your life was really just beginning and in the blink of an eye, you were taken from us. In my mind, you're still 27; a young, eager and dedicated police officer who touched everyone you knew with a positive influence and an everlasting impact. People still tell "Bill shenanigan" stories and talk of your funny, practical joking ways and it always brings a smile to my face. Your legacy lives on in the hearts of everyone who was fortunate enough to know you and love you. To my Guardian Angel in Blue, you are thought of daily, missed more than words can say and loved beyond measure.

Sissy Copelin Bentley

May 17, 2018

Rest in peace Officer Bowlin. Dignity, honesty and integrity underscored your service to Nashville.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

November 26, 2017

Hello my spiritual and maternal brother. I want you to know that the impact and influence you've had on my life is immeasurable. I've recently become a friend to Sissy Copelin Bentley. I'm very much impressed with your ability to recognize quality people and I'm gonna try to somewhat bridge the gap between you and she! Thank you for befriending her when you did because I see your amazing influence on her life...and because of you I'm particularly blessed to be able to call her "friend". All of us who love you really miss you but because of Sissy your still positively impacting individuals who weren't fortunate enough to know you back when. I love you my brother and one of my life partners. I feel your presence quite often...so thank you for your service and your ultimate sacrifice.

Gary Bowlin
2 year older brother; former Army Sergeant; retired postmaster

September 26, 2017

My mother, Sandy Wilson, was married to you. My what a legacy you left behind. You saved her life, you know? Thank you for your service.. and thank you for being such a positive influence still as your legacy lives on. Most importantly (to me), thank you for being what my mom deserved after such a horrible life up until she met you.

Oh, I almost forgot.. I found this while doing a research/study for a paper in my college class. Officer Eric Mumaw recently died. This is one way (hopefully) to bring awareness to you and all of the men and women in blue as they protect and serve. Also, maybe it will once again, honor you and Officer Mumaw.

Angela M Wilson
Angela Wilson

February 8, 2017

Been thinking about you a lot lately with a the attacks and senseless cop murders happening everywhere. I think about the circumstances in which you were murdered at such a young age. You had your whole life taken from you, but your murderer, now in his 80's, is still alive and well, living a long full life after only serving only 7 years for taking yours.

In the past 2 weeks I've had to literally talk myself out of posting about your killer...why post it? What good would it do? Just create more hate, so all I can think about is the love and friendship you offered to everyone no matter what race, or religion they were, Thank you for that, thank you for sacrificing your life for your community and thank you for being such an inspiration to me.

Almost 34 years later and I still run to friends who knew you so well and we begin to swap "Bill shenanigan" stories, and it always brings such happy memories and lots of laughter. You will never be forgotten Bill

You are thought of daily, missed terribly, and loved very much...Sleep with the Angels

Sissy Copelin

July 18, 2016

Billy was not just a officer he was my best friend. You were my sweetest friend you made me laugh and you dried my tears, you always had a good shoulder and a BIG heart. I will never forget the day I rode with you and we stopped at the kroger on Gallatin road and when we got in the line there was a little elderly lady who had her billfold stolen out of her purse while shopping. She had no money now for her food, THE angel in blue reached in his billfold and had the cashier the money for the ladies food. I still have Susie Bee the little white bear who brought to me when I was in the hospital when ever I travel she goes with me. I miss your cute smile and your beautiful eyes that were always filled with love. I miss you Billy and keep in touch with your sweet mother who misses you. We will all see you again one day and that will be a happy day. Love you, Pia

Piettia Heifner York
Friend

June 22, 2015

Happy 60th Birthday to my hero, my Guardian Angel in blue and the greatest impact in my life. You sacrificed your life protecting our community at the tender age of 27. In the short 27 years that you were here, you accomplished so much and were loved by so many. Now, I'm grown with a daughter of my own and I tell her about you and what a wonderful person you were and if she ever found someone that can come even remotely close to you, to grab them up, cherish them and don't take them for granted. People like you are so few and far between; a gentle, kind soul, that truly cared about people and I was Blessed to have known you and loved you and have you in my life for such a short time. Bill, just know that you are loved beyond measure, thought of daily and missed more than words can express. Celebrate with the Angels.

I thought of you with love today, but that is nothing new.
I thought about you yesterday, and days before that too.
I think of you in silence, I often speak your name.
Now all I have are memories, and your picture in a frame.
Your memory is my keepsake, with which I’ll never part.
God has you in his keeping, I have you in my heart.

Sissy Copelin

March 15, 2015

On July 15, 2014 Retired MNPD Major Jack Bowlin was called home. He is now with his son forever. Both were righteous men who walked the hero's path with bravery & integrity. May they now rest in eternal peace.

Retired Sgt. Vernon Teague
Metro/Nashville P.D.

July 19, 2014

Hi Uncle Bill. I regret that I never got to know you. Grandpa Jack died today. He really missed you, and I bet your reunion was pretty awesome.

April
niece

July 15, 2014

Even though I never knew you, We still talk about you and that fateful night. I remember like it was yesterday. It is amazing how one man that you never met could affect your entire life. I was just fixing to turn 8 when this happened. My daddy was standing right behind you when you took your last breath, he watched it all happen. I felt the fear that your your family had and I later found out that if you hadn't been where you were my dad's picture would be on this page. In my eyes you saved my daddy's life and I will forever be grateful and sad at the same time. 31 years later I still cry when I think of you and your memory has never faded and it never will, even from someone you never knew.

Julie Hutchison
Daughter of Ret. Sgt. Lewis Toth

September 27, 2013

31 years later and I can still remember that horrible, hot, August Wednesday night like it was yesterday. I was on my way to church with Mom, Angie and Michelle. Mom and I were arguing as usual but took time out to reply to your honk and wave from your patrol car as you passed by us, not yet knowing, that would be the last time we would see that sweet signature "Bill" grin. Within 2 hours, you would be gone, so senselessly and needlessly taken from us while answering a Domestic Call. The word's mom uttered to me that night, "Bill's been shot" were followed by my concern of "is he ok?!?" Mom then replied, "No Sissy, he's gone", will forever be etched in my memory.

31 years later and I don’t remember details of the milestones in my life such as getting my driver’s license, going on my 1st date, going to my high school Sr. Prom, graduation and the list just goes on. But I remember that nightmarish night. In the months that followed your death, depression, anxiety and a bit of loneliness had taken over. I was just 15 when you were ripped from my life. How does a 15 year old girl ever get over losing one of the most influential people in her life? You were one of the few people that truly cared about me, my family, and our church. A Christian in every since of the word; right down to the small pocket Bible that was found in your uniform shirt pocket the night you were gunned down.

As I read all these Reflections about you, it just verifies what I’ve known all along….You, Bill, are one of the most loving, genuine, gentle, kind souls that had and still has a great impact and influence in my life.

Your memory lives on in me and everyone else who had the great privilege of being blessed to have known and loved you as I have and just because you are not here with us anymore, doesn’t mean we have to stop loving you. You are my Guardian Angel in Blue <3
Thinking of you daily and loving you still,
Sissy

I do not need a special day to bring you to my mind,
The days I do not think of you are very hard to find,
Each morning when I awake, I know that you are gone,
And no one knows the heartache as I try to carry on.
My heart still aches with sadness and the secret tears still flow,
What it meant to lose you, no one will ever know.
My thoughts are always with you, your place no one can fill,
In life I loved you dearly, in death I love you still…..

Sissy Copelin

August 18, 2013

Uncle,you are not forgotten. Reading these messages has brought, tears to my eyes. You were the shining light of the Bowling family. I can still hear the rifle salute.

Scott Bowlin
nephew

August 13, 2013

Billy I will never forget that night that Tom Lloyd showed up at the front door to tell me what happened before I saw it on tv. I remember that night like it was yesterday I tried to sit thru the court hearings but Tommy Pigue and Jim Fugua did not want me in there because they knew how much I adored you. I remember the Kroger store at the corner of Eastland and the little lady that had her wallet stolen and you took your billfold out and paid for her stuff with that cute smile you had. Not a day goes by that I don't think of you I have cried myself to sleep at nights I miss you that much. I still have the little white bear Susie Bee that you gave me when I was in the hospital she still sleeps with me. We will see each other again in heaven and it will be a wonderful day. I miss you and still love you. Love always Pia

Piettia Heifner York
Friend

August 1, 2013

With the power of the internet and human curiousity I have come across this Reflection Page. Officer Bowlin is possibly mine and my sisters Uncle whom we have never met. We lost contact with our father Michael Bowlin when we were very small children. Though we never had the chance to meet Officer Bowlin we are proud to know that he was a well liked and respected man. We are sad to hear that his life was taken at a young age.


Christopher Bowlin -Birmingham, Al

N/A

March 6, 2013

Love you and miss you just as much today my so.
Love you
Dad

Retired Major Jack Bowlin
Metro-Nashville PD

February 25, 2013

To fully appreciate the heroes of the present, we must recognize our heroes of the past. Your heroism and service is honored today, the 31rst anniversary year of your death. I am priviliged to leave a tribute to you. 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.

I pray for solace for all those that love and remember you for I know both the pain and pride are forever.

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

January 30, 2013

As I sit here just thinking on my past I was very young when all of this happened maybe 8 years old, but this officer always comes to my mind. So I decieded to look him up. Through my growing years I wanted to know who he was this man that gave his life to help my grandma. Even as a child I understood, and just wanted to let the family know that I often think of him and you.. For a man I never knew but sad for the loss all these years later.

Candace

October 11, 2012

My Dearest Bill,

Here it is, almost 30 years later and I can still hear your laughter....you were ALWAYS either laughing or at least, smiling from ear to ear. I can still remember the way you walked with that swag because of the weight of your gunbelt...lol and you STILL walked that way when you didn't even have it on because it was a "habit", as you called it. I still remember how you always chewed gum and your favorite was Wrigley's Spearment. Your favorite song was "The Rose". Your favorite flower was carnations, and your favorite color was baby blue. All these memories and so many more memories that I could go on and on about. It gives me comfort to have these vivid memories of you although time has not erased the pain of losing you so suddenly and needlessly. Bill, just know that you are loved beyond measure, thought of daily and missed more than words can express. Sleep with the Angels

I thought of you with love today,
But that is nothing new.
I thought about you yesterday.
And days before that too.
I think of you in silence.
I often speak your name.
Now all I have are memories.
And your picture in a frame.
Your memory is my keepsake.
With which I’ll never part.
God has you in his keeping.
I have you in my heart.

Sissy Copelin

July 29, 2012

Hi Uncle Billy,
I wasn't very old when you died, but I remember when it happened and events surrounding it. I remember you as such a kind spirited person. I remember the sadness of you leaving, even though I didn't fully understand what death was at that time. I still think of you fondly and I'm very thankful that I had the time that I did with you.

Ariane Hoffman
Step-niece

July 18, 2012

Hi Uncle Billy,

I never got to meet you, because you died defending our city just 3 years before I was born. Grandpa Jack and Daddy have told me so much about you. You were the age I am now when you died. So many people have such wonderful things to say about you. I wish I could have known you, but I know I'll see you in Heaven. Love you :)

Melissa (Bowlin) Messina
Niece

May 16, 2012

Bill, I was reflecting on heaven this week, and you came to mind--after these many years. One day, when I see you there, I will get to share with you how much your life and your death honored God in ways you could not have possibly foreseen. I hope the Lord has given you the opportunity to see that from His perspective. Your legacy continues here, as your life continues there with Him. Thank you for loving me. Until we meet again, Viv

Vivian
Friend

November 8, 2011

My Dearest Bill,
It's been almost 28 years now since you left us. Not a day has gone by that I haven't thought of you, and wondered if you were watching over me as you did in life. I have missed you so much and sometimes it's almost unbearable. I come to visit you when I come home and hope that you can hear me when I talk to you. You've always had and still have a special place in my heart that nobody can fill but you.

Now, I'm grown with a daughter of my own and I tell her about you and what a wonderful person you were and if she ever found someone that can come even remotely close to you, to grab them up, cherish them and don't take them for granted. People like you are so few and far between; a gentle, kind soul, that truely cared about people and I was Blessed to have known you and loved you and have you in my life for such a short time. The impact you had on me was great and I became a better person for it. I hope I have made you proud of me as I grew up. I love you and miss you and you will never be forgotten!

To A Policeman
William (Bill) Bowlin

They're in the Line of Duty,
Morning, noon, and night,
Be it a break-in or car wreck,
Or to break up a simple fight.

They're there because it's protection,
Of people like you and me,
The live for what each day brings,
The future we cannot see.

They pursue in the line of Justice,
And see no harm is done,
To life, limb, and property,
They're our darling sons.

They swear to uphold and enforce,
The laws of our city and land,
Three cheers for the Policeman,
A salute to the fearless man.

When they leave home what ere the shift,
They know this could be the day,
That life could be snuffed out,
By a fool with guns on the way.

Are they perfect, no are any of us,
God said there's no not one,
But praise the Lord they're trying,
This mad race to run.

They're kind, loyal, and helpful,
To listen to other's woe,
They can get tough if it's needed,
To some of the places they go.

Soon, we will lay one down to rest,
An Officer true and brave,
Whose life was given in duty,
Humanity to save.

So three cheers and a prayer of thanks,
That they who try day and night,
Will not meet with destruction,
As did this young one last night.

God send your Guardian Angels,
To ride in these cars of white,
As they try to keep law and order,
In Nashville day and night.

Written by Louise Berryman
August 5, 1982

Sissy

March 21, 2010

Hi Bill
I sit here tonight with tears running dow my cheeks because I miss you so much. Time has not removed the pain of losing you at such a young age. You were a great young man, a fine officer and a super son. Rest in peace. I love you.
Your Dad.

Malor Jack Bowlin Retired
Father

March 12, 2010

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