Fairfax County Police Officer Edward Bowling patrolled Franconia District for 14 years, and he was respectful and humble for every single one of them, said Officer Steve Kaganowich, Bowling’s coworker and close personal friend.
Bowling, who died last Tuesday, Feb. 7, from colorectal cancer, was a quiet man, but was always friendly and fair. “He didn’t have much to say, but when he said it, you listened to it,” Kaganowich said. “He was extremely respectful of the citizens.”
Bowling’s soft-spoken nature made him an excellent listener, said Kaganowich, who worked with him for 10 years. “Because he was a man of few words, he had a knack that is very rare these days – the ability to just listen to people.
“He was the kind of officer you always wanted backing you, because he didn’t stir the situation up. He was always very calm and collected, and that’s why I really enjoyed working with him.”
Before joining the FCPD, Bowling served as a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps, and after graduating first in his class from the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy in 1998, he still carried himself like a Marine.
Although he didn’t have any Marine Corps tattoos, you could tell Bowling had served, Kaganowich said. “[People] would come up and pat him on the back and shake his hand and say, ‘Semper Fi.’”
When Bowling received his diagnosis, the cancer was already Stage 4. Kaganowich said Bowling worked for several months prior to the diagnosis and never once complained or took a sick day.
Bowling went through two rounds of chemotherapy, suffering from heart failure along the way. He declined another course of chemo in order spend the time he had left with his wife, Therese, his 4-year-old son, Eddie, and his friends. But in spite of it all, Bowling never got down on himself or complained.
“He never showed any sign of depression,” Kaganowich said. “He had really come to terms with what was happening, and if anything, he was comforting the people around him that were so worried. “
Bowling’s time in the Marines made him an avid aviation enthusiast. He held a pilot’s license and worked at a hobby shop in Chantilly. He and Kaganowich would attend air shows and visit museums in Washington, D.C.
On one of his last healthy days, Bowling’s colleagues fulfilled a wish of his and took him flying in the FCPD’s new helicopter. Pictures from the outing can be viewed here. The website was set up by Franconia District Officer Chris Crawford.
Bowling was laid to rest on Friday, Feb. 10, at Quantico National Cemetery.
Although there is no memorial fund set up, Officer Brooke Wright said that donations made in Bowling's name to Capital Caring, the hospice in which he spent his last days, would be appreciated.