Everett Bowman (1953 - 2016)

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  • "Thanks, Everett, for all the fun times on the rivers and..."
    - Melinda
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    - Neal Shore
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Service Information
Celebration of Life
Saturday, Jul. 23, 2016
11:00 AM
First Presbyterian Church
Charlotte, NC
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Obituary

Everett Jackson Bowman CHARLOTTE - Everett Jackson Bowman, prominent lawyer and avid environmentalist, died peacefully on June 12, 2016, in the presence of his family at his home in Charlotte. The cause of death was complications of prostate cancer, first diagnosed in 1999. He was 63. Following cremation, his remains are to be scattered in two places where he said he'd "never felt more alive, in touch with nature and ready to have some fun" the ocean off Wrightsville Beach and the Gorge Section of the Nolichucky River. Survivors include a sister, Carol Hatcher of Matthews, her husband Sam and their children Paige and Sam III; a brother, Kim Bowman of Chicago, Ill., his wife Karen and their children Blair and Kyle; his former wife, Vicki Bott of Charlotte; and his beloved cats, Hector and Mary. He was preceded in death by his parents, Robah Jackson Bowman and Lois Cain Bowman. A service celebrating his life will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 23, at First Presbyterian Church in Charlotte. The family will host a reception there after the service. Mr. Bowman was born July 26, 1953, in Wilmington, N.C. A brilliant student, he was valedictorian of his class at New Hanover High School. At Harvard College he earned an A.B. summa cum laude in English history and literature and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and a finalist for a Rhodes Scholarship. After a year at Cambridge University on a Henry Scholarship, he entered Harvard Law School and graduated cum laude in 1975. He clerked for a year for Judge Gerald B. Tjoflat of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, who became a lifelong friend and mentor. On the judge's recommendation he joined the Charlotte law firm that is now Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson. He came to know his colleagues as "very fine lawyers and truly exceptional people." He received many awards for professional excellence, including the Distinguished Service Award from the North Carolina Bar Association's Antitrust & Trade Regulation Section; selection for Business North Carolina's Legal Elite Hall of Fame; listing in Chambers USA's American's Leading Business Lawyers; inclusion in North Carolina Super Lawyers; and recognition by Best Lawyer as the Charlotte Antitrust Lawyer of the Year. Mr. Bowman was an erudite conversationalist, an adventuresome eater, and a meticulous cook (especially Italian and Chinese dishes). He loved good writers (particularly John McPhee), films, and newsy periodicals (The Guardian, the New Yorker). He was an ardent hiker, backpacker, and whitewater canoeist. Early in his career he considered becoming general counsel for an environmental group, but concluded he could do more by earning higher compensation as a corporate lawyer and donating generously to environmental causes. He did so for the remainder of his life, earning accolades for his philanthropy, including gifts to the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, N.C. Coastal Land Trust, and the Catawba Lands Conservancy. In 2015 he received the N.C. Land Trust's Stanback Volunteer Conservationist of the Year Award for his philanthropy and passion for protecting the places he loved. A speaker noted that Mr. Bowman "embodies the ethic of the movement that brings us together today: to leave our world better than we found it." In 2016 the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy honored him by creating the Everett Bowman Trail on property his generosity helped protect, bordering Pisgah National Forest in Avery County. Conservancy board member Jay Leutze called it a "conservation wonderland," home to rare plants and animals such as Golden-winged Warblers, Southern Appalachian brook trout, and least weasels. That variety delighted Mr. Bowman, who was renowned for his ability to identify on sight virtually anything that jumps, flies, dashes, burrows or is rooted in the wild areas he cherished. Mr. Bowman explained his commitment this way: "Since high school, my greatest concern has been the damage that human beings have done and are continuing to do to our natural environment. My greatest hope is that we will come to better understand, respect, and protect our environment and our fellow species in the web of life. I think this is crucial for those who come after us." He requested that instead of sending flowers, anyone who wishes to honor his life make a donation to the Catawba Lands Conservancy, Charlotte Animal Adoption League, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Humane Society, or other organizations with similar purposes.
Published in Charlotte Observer on June 15, 2016
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