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James Frederick Bowman


1930 - 2016 Obituary
James Frederick Bowman Obituary
James Frederick Bowman (Fred), 86, of Yuba City, CA, passed away in the early hours of December
21, 2016. At his bedside was his wife of 26 years, Jean Hatfield-Bowman.
Fred led an amazing and very successful, interesting life . . .he loved music, law enforcement,teaching,
humor, and basically having fun. His love of jazz was embedded in his soul - it was part of who he was.
He tried a variety of activities - fishing, hunting, horsemanship, golf, skiing, scuba diving (he loved the
ocean) . . . suffice it to say, he was up for anything.
Fred was born in Pattonsburg, MO, on June 19, 1930. Shortly thereafter, he moved with his mother to
Southern California. He attended Redondo Union High School and later attended El Camino College.
Prior to El Camino College, he enlisted in the Army. He was stationed in Germany, where he was a
member of the 7788 Army Band (Frankfurt) and the 423rd Army Band (Command Post). In addition,
he was a member of a Jazz Combo. Upon his return and discharge from the Army in 1949, he attended El Camino College and was again active
in the music arena - he had the pleasure of knowing and playing with Chet Baker, the renowned American Jazz Trumpeter. In February of 1950,
he enlisted in the Naval Air Reserve and his unit was activated in response to the Korean War –while overseas, he was stationed out of Japan. He
returned to Southern California in August 1951 and was then stationed in Washington State for a while prior to being ordered to inactive reserve
duty, whereupon he returned to Southern California. He returned to El Camino and a job at North American Aircraft and was eventually hired
on as a Hermosa Beach Police Officer in 1954.
Fred had a successful law enforcement career in Hermosa Beach. He started as a rookie patrolman and by 1956 was a motorcycle officer. In
1963, he received a new four-legged partner, Falken. They were both involved in an intensive training program prior to participating in a pilot
police K-9 program, on call 24/7. Always, a dog lover, this was a partnership made in heaven – Fred had the utmost respect and love for Falken and
his abilities, and training and working with Falken was one of the highlights of his career. Ultimately, Fred was made a detective and later Chief of
Detectives. He was a police officer that was truly there to protect and serve. . .always trying to help where he could.
In 1968, Fred left Southern California to take the next step in his career as Chief of Police of Wheatland, CA.While there, he started teaching
part-time at Yuba College. After making a difficult decision to leave active law enforcement, he accepted an offer to teach full-time at Yuba
College in 1970 - putting his unique stamp on the program and developing the department into a successful and thriving Administration of
Justice program. He developed and ran a program training FBI agents in the art of Homicide Investigations during the summer months, and
later participated in a program in Puerto Rico to train El Salvadoran police officers in homicide investigations. He had been active with Yuba
County Sheriff's Posse, was a past vice-president of the California Criminal Justice Educators Association, and supported various other School and
Community events and programs.
Fred's dedication to serve this Country never wavered - he continued his service in the Naval Reserves - joining on as an Assistant Training Officer
with the Pacific Fleet Detachment 520 at the U.S. Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Center in Sacramento – he was promoted to Chief Legalman.
Fred retired from both, Yuba College and the Naval Reserves, in 1993. During his "retirement" years, he worked as a private investigator and
continued his community involvement.
Fred enjoyed his life, his family, and his many adventures. He was loved by all and made an impact on all who knew him… and many he did
not even know. He left a void and will be greatly missed.
Fred leaves his wife, Jean Hatfield-Bowman, his children - Jerry Bowman, Morna Bowman Rouse, Chuck Bowman, Christel Mitchell, and Frank
Bowman, his stepchildren - Philip Hatfield and Hope De Alba, and his beloved grandchildren and great-grandchild.
Per his wishes, Fred's ashes will be scattered at sea. There will be an informal gathering to celebrate his life at the home of Jean HatfieldBowman
in Yuba City, CA, on January 14, 2017, at 11:00am.
Published in The Beach Reporter on Jan. 5, 2017
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