Life of service honored

Funeral will be in military style
Sunday, February 13, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 9:37 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 13, 2008

Columbia police Officer Molly Bowden will be honored with a full police funeral on Tuesday at Mizzou Arena.

The service will include a 21-gun salute and ceremonial last call. A police honor guard will act as escorts and be present during the service.

At the burial, Bowden’s family will be presented with the ceremonial flag that will be draped over her coffin during the funeral.

The Rev. Michael Burt, who has been representing Bowden’s family, met with Columbia police Chief Randy Boehm and arena officials Friday morning to discuss the arrangements. Burt then went to the arena, which seats 15,061, to discuss the services with security and building personnel.

Burt will preside over the funeral and said the family requested that he read Psalm 23. The family agreed to the arena to accommodate large police and public attendance, Burt said.

“While Molly is theirs, they recognize that they also shared her with community,” he said.

Law enforcement personnel from Missouri and surrounding states are expected to come to honor Bowden, Columbia police Capt. Sam Hargadine said. “It is common for departments from all over to send a representative to show their support for one of their own,” he said.

After Bowden’s death Thursday, Hargadine said that the close-knit network of officers and staff quickly notified everyone in the Police Department.

“We have an organization tree to make sure that everybody was notified,” he said. “Then again, it was coming from a number of different sources.”

Word-of-mouth carried the message from those who were working that afternoon in the administrative building to off-duty officers all over town.

That evening, Hargadine said, Boehm held a staff meeting to talk with officers and others in the department about the situation.

Before Officer Bowden’s death, Columbia police Officer Rob Kiesling had organized a barbecue and silent auction benefit for the Officer Down Fund. The benefit is still scheduled for 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday. Kiesling said he is trying to sell 800 tickets, but the total will not be counted until later this week.

Tickets for the barbecue and silent auction are $5 for children 4 to 12 and $10 for adults. They can be purchased at any Little General Store, any UPS Store or from any Columbia police officer, or contact Kiesling at 441-3891.

Officer Bowden’s visitation will be from 10 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Tuesday, and the funeral is scheduled for 1 p.m. Both services will be at Mizzou Arena, off Stadium Boulevard at 1 Champions Drive.

After the funeral, Officer Bowden will be buried at Memorial Cemetery in Columbia. The procession to the burial site will head north on Providence Road and then west on Business Loop 70. Columbia police, with assistance from the Boone County Sheriff’s Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol, will escort the funeral procession.

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