Henry County recently paid tribute to one of its own who helped improve public safety in the Kelleytown area of McDonough.
The new Fire Station No. 16, which opened in July and had its official ribbon-cutting ceremony in September, is now dedicated to the late former Commissioner Reid Bowman, who died in June at age 70.
Attendees at the Dec. 5 dedication ceremony included the Bowman family, friends, county officials, present and former commissioners and public safety personnel.
They unveiled a plaque dedicating a bronze marker, which contains an etched image of Bowman.
“Fire Station No.16 is dedicated in memory of Henry County Commissioner Reid Bowman (1947-2018) who served faithfully as the District IV Commissioner from 2007 to 2014,” the plaque reads. “Commissioner Bowman was a dedicated public servant who served the citizens of Henry County by providing exceptional leadership and a powerful voice to advocate for the needs of citizens during his eight-year tenure.
“He was instrumental in a wide variety of road and capital improvement projects both countywide and throughout District IV, and was a driving force in the creation and implementation of several quality of life and public safety initiatives, including the building of Fire Station No. 16 in the Kelleytown community. Through his commitment as a public official, Commissioner Bowman leaves a legacy of faith, love and service to the citizens of Henry County.”
According to a news release, Commissioner Blake Prince spearheaded the effort to have the station dedicated in memory of Bowman.
“I looked at several different things to name after Reid passed, so I looked at the fire station, and the fire station is here to help people and I really feel that fits Reid’s personality and who Reid was. He was a person who wanted to help people,” Prince said. “And this fire station will be here for, I guess, 50 to 75 more years, and it will always be remembered as the Reid Bowman Fire Station.”
Pam Edwards, Bowman’s daughter, spoke on behalf of the family and thanked attendees for their presence.
“This crowd is a testament to our dad and to everything that he lived for,” she said. “He loved his community.”
Edwards singled Prince out for praise.
“We cannot even begin to express what this means to us and we are very thankful for you and for your vision and your desire to honor our dad in this way,” she said.
The $2.6 million fire station at 1575 Kelleytown Road is next to the 124-acre Bud Kelley Park, named after a 1969 to 1976 commissioner who died in 2013.
The station serves about 10,000 households, providing faster response time according to Interim Fire Chief Luther Phillips and Commissioner Johnny Wilson, a former firefighter.
Prince said at its ribbon-cutting ceremony that Bowman was active in placing the project on the list for funding by the county’s fourth round of special purpose local option sales taxes.
According to Bowman’s obituary, he enjoyed playing golf, working with cows on his farm, going on church missions and travelling with his wife Janice and their four children.