Cover photo for George Samuel "Sam" Bowman's Obituary
George Samuel "Sam" Bowman Profile Photo

George Samuel "Sam" Bowman

June 17, 1939 — October 4, 2021

George Samuel "Sam" Bowman

After a lifetime spent making the world a better place, Sam Bowman died Oct. 4, 2021 in Oklahoma City. Sam was born in Pittsburgh on June 17, 1939, to George Samuel and Ann Kerrigan Bowman. A 1962 graduate of Penn State University, he served for three years as a junior officer in the Navy. He worked briefly for The Salvation Army before pursuing a Master's degree in social work at the University of Pittsburgh. Sam married Linda Triplett in 1966. After he earned his MSW, they moved first to Los Angeles and, in 1970, to Oklahoma City. There, Sam dedicated his life to his family, his church and to the underprivileged.He was executive director of the Neighborhood Services Organization for 21 years, creating strong alliances with the United Way and United Methodist Church. At the Oklahoma City Community Foundation from 1995 to 2005, Sam built partnerships between OKC Public Schools and a variety of non-profit organizations. He was especially proud of his role in creating the Whiz Kids faith-based, mentoring program for elementary students. Sam was a devout Christian and beloved member of Mosaic United Methodist Church. He lived out his faith in every aspect of his life, loving, blessing and serving others.He was elected to the OKC city council in 2003, representing Ward 2. He focused on strengthening neighborhoods, notably advocating for use of MAPS and other municipal bond money to build sidewalks in dozens of areas. He was instrumental in the expansion of Oklahoma City's bike trail network to more than 80 miles, including connection of the city's three major lakes with a single path. At the time of his death, Sam was a member of the board of directors of the Freedom Center—providing strong leadership in raising funds to renovate the center and also construct a new Clara Luper Civil Rights Center to celebrate the movement's history in OKC. Sam loved a good story. He loved to laugh. He loved people. He embraced adventure, traveling to Ghana in 2015 to visit a school funded by the OKC-based PAMBE Ghana. Just three years ago, Sam and his brothers (all in their 70's) completed a 150-mile bike ride from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, MD.Sam was preceded in death by his wife, Linda; brother, Joe; and niece, Laurie. He is survived by his daughters, April Bowman of Atlanta, GA and Samantha Fiscus (husband Jason) of Tulsa, OK; siblings Barbara "Babs" Echtenkamp (husband Alan) of Hilton Head, SC, and William "Buzz" Bowman (wife Ruth) of Annapolis, MD; and his partner Jane Wheeler of Oklahoma City. Sam was also the beloved Papa of Hannah and Aaron Fiscus and a highly respected uncle of six nieces and nephews.Donations can be made to the Sam Bowman Memorial Fund at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation at www.occf.org in support of causes close to his heart. Family and friends will gather to celebrate Sam's life at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021, at Coles Garden, 1415 NE 63rd St., Oklahoma City. The family encourages those who attend to wear colorful attire in the spirit of the motto he was so fond of expressing: "Life is good! God is good!"
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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

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