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Jacobus native among San Bernardino victims

Sean Philip Cotter
505-5437/@SPCotterYD

Harry “Hal” Bowman’s 1987 graduation speech to his Dallastown Area High School class of 1987 was called “America is an adventure.”

The Jacobus native was one of the 14 people killed in the mass shooting Wednesday in San Bernardino, California. The FBI is investigating the shooting, committed by one of Bowman's co-workers and the co-worker's wife at a work banquet, as an act of terrorism. Seventeen others were wounded, according to The Associated Press.

Bowman worked as a statistical analyst for Healthy Communities for the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, according to a statement released by Bowman's family. No one from The Department of Health could be reached Friday by The York Dispatch; an operator there said everyone in the department has been given leave from work until Monday in the wake of the shootings.

The 46-year-old graduated second in his class of 346 students from Dallastown in 1987. According to his yearbook, he ran cross country all four years of high school, participated in the science fair and was part of the National Honor Society.

He also took part in “Law Day,” an event where students such as Bowman who were interested in the legal profession could shadow people who practice law, said Dallastown Superintendent Ron Dyer.

Harry "Hal" Bowman

“He was a very fine student, from what I’ve seen,” said Dyer, who wasn’t with the district when Bowman was there.

Dyer said Bowman’s yearbook quote was “I don’t like to lose!”

The Associated Press reports Bowman had been living in Upland, California.

Harry "Hal" Bowman

He's remembered as a loving father to his two daughters. A dedicated member of the Roman Catholic Church, he frequently taught religious classes. He loved the outdoors, spending much of his free time hiking.

"This is a tragic loss for our family, much like it is for all families around the world who have experienced this kind of violence," the family said in a statement to The Associated Press. "There are no words that express our sadness in losing such a special person."

No one answered the door at the York Township address listed for some members of his family when The York Dispatch visited Friday.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a York County Democrat, released a statement Friday: “We are saddened to hear reports that Pennsylvania-native Harry Bowman was among the victims of the senseless violence in San Bernardino, California. On behalf of all Pennsylvanians, Frances and I extend our deepest condolences to the Bowman family and all of our fellow York County residents whom knew him.”

— Reach Sean Cotter atscotter@yorkdispatch.com.