locally owned since 1854

Former Middletown Borough Council member Michael Bowman dies after fall on stairs Wednesday

By Dan Miller

danmiller@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 10/4/17

Former Middletown Borough Councilor Michael Bowman has died.

Bowman, 70, went into cardiac arrest after he fell and hit his head on a concrete floor, Middletown Police Sgt. Dennis Morris told the …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

Former Middletown Borough Council member Michael Bowman dies after fall on stairs Wednesday

Mike Bowman carries a flag during Middletown’s Memorial Day Parade on May 25, 2015.
Mike Bowman carries a flag during Middletown’s Memorial Day Parade on May 25, 2015.
special to the press & journal by jodi ocker
Posted

Former Middletown Borough Councilor Mike Bowman has died.

Bowman, 70, went into cardiac arrest after he fell and hit his head on a concrete floor, Middletown Police Sgt. Dennis Morris told the Press & Journal.

Bowman was taken by ambulance to Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 1:42 p.m. Wednesday, Morris said. Bowman’s wife and other members of his family have been notified of his death, police said.

According to police, Bowman was measuring a basement door in a building at Wood and Wilson streets owned by a friend. Bowman was planning to remove the door to take it to a property that he owned, Morris said.

The door opened to steps going down the basement, but at least two steps of the staircase were missing, Morris said. 

Morris said that the friend told Bowman not to try and go down the stairs, but Bowman opened the door, took one step and tumbled down.

Police got the call at 12:37 p.m. but Bowman was unconscious by the time police arrived. Morris and another officer, Tyler Zehring, gave Bowman cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), as did emergency medical personnel who arrived shortly after.

“It appears as though it was an accidental fall that turned into a medical emergency,” Morris said.

Bowman was a landlord who for many years has been a fixture at borough council meetings. He was usually in the front row, often wearing a white T-shirt and his trademark Vietnam veterans’ baseball hat.

Not content to sit on the sidelines, Bowman ran unsuccessfully for mayor and borough council.

He had also served on several appointed boards and commissions for the borough, including the police pension board, the emergency management board, and the zoning hearing board, of which Bowman was chair.

In January 2015 Bowman was appointed to borough council to fill a vacant seat from the First Ward created by the resignation of Tom Handley.

Bowman served throughout 2015, but did not seek election to a full term and stepped down at the end of the year.

Bowman was known for his blunt outspokenness, especially at council meetings.

He seldom passed up an opportunity to offer public comment. In recent months Bowman had been pushing council to repave Ann Street, fix potholes on Wood and Wilson streets, and to do something about one of the borough’s two electric substations — the one on Mill Street — being in a floodplain.

Bowman’s public combativeness got him into trouble on occasion, most notably during a June 2008 council meeting when Bowman was escorted out by borough police after saying “sieg heil” and giving then-Council President Rodney Horton a Nazi salute.

Bowman had gotten upset when Horton told him he had used up his time for making comment, and Horton had banged his gavel to cut Bowman off.

Showing he hadn’t mellowed much with age, Bowman was still fighting the same battle — though without the Nazi-related gestures — when on Sept. 20 he called Damon Suglia “the most arrogant borough council president we have had in decades” because Suglia sought to limit public comment to four minutes.

But Bowman was also devoted to his community. You could count on him marching down the middle of the street in his Army dress green uniform Middletown’s annual Memorial Day parade, and in being among those paying tribute during the observance that is always held immediately after the parade in the cemetery on Union Street.

Bowman also helped decorate the town with American flags for other patriotic holidays like the Fourth of July. 

He quietly pitched in — probably more times than anyone knows — to assist the borough in many other ways. He helped decorate Hoffer Park for the holidays and lent his time and effort to keep up Kids Kastle. He was also known for volunteering during National Night Out.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment