Baylor Mourns Passing of Jim D. Bowmer of Temple

July 24, 2006

Popular Temple attorney and Baylor graduate Jim D. Bowmer passed away Thursday afternoon after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 87.

Bowmer, who received a bachelor's degree from Baylor in 1940 and his law degree in 1942, "was one of the greats of our profession . . . and one of the greats of life," said Brad Toben, dean of Baylor Law School. "He always had a calm, friendly demeanor, a kind word, and a modest deferral of credit for anything he accomplished."

Honored by the State Bar of Texas in 1996 as a 50-Year Lawyer, Bowmer was a former State Bar president and chairman. He also served as president of the Baylor Law Alumni Association in 1962, and he was named Baylor Lawyer of the Year in 1974. In addition, he was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus of Baylor University.

In 1984, following the death of their grandchild, Bowmer and his late wife, Daurice, created the Peaceable Kingdom Retreat for Children near Youngsport, which serves as a get-away for chronically ill children.

Just a few weeks ago, Bowmer was presented with the Golden Deeds Award during a banquet at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center. The annual award is given by The Exchange Club of Killeen, a nonprofit community service club affiliated with the National Exchange Club. With more than 30 members, the local chapter promotes youth programs, community service, child abuse prevention and Americanism.

The ceremony honoring Bowmer was prominently covered in the Killeen Daily Herald, which headlined its story "'Peaceable' man presented with Golden Deeds Award." The article noted, "Jim and Daurice Bowmer's dream started small and turned into a place where 'thousands of children' have come to enjoy life."

Bowmer was described by Dean Toben as "a superb trial lawyer, a prince of a person and a man of deep and abiding faith. He was exceptionally proud of Baylor Law School and would bring non-Baylor friends by the school to show them our program, always with great pride. Just a few weeks ago, he was overjoyed to learn that his granddaughter, Tessa, would be matriculating with us in '07."

During World War II, Bowmer served as a Judge Advocate General in the Army in Africa, Italy, Hawaii and the Philippines. In 1987, Bowmer's firm Bowmer, Courtney, Burleson, Normand and Moore joined with the law firm of Naman, Howell, Smith and Lee. Bowmer served as county attorney for Bell County and as president of the Bell-Lampasas-Mills Counties Bar Association. He was active for many years in numerous civic, charitable and volunteer organizations in Bell County and Central Texas.

Said Dean Toben, "Jim was a keen and precise observer of life, a 'do-er' in every sense of the word, and the likes of him will not pass this way again. This is a great loss for his family, for his friends, for our profession and for the legions who were touched by his life."

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