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PHOTOS: Kennebec's late fire chief, community leader Rod Bowar honored with special procession

First responders made the trip to Kennebec on Saturday with their emergency vehicles, where they lined both sides of South Dakota Highway 273 as Bowar's funeral procession returned to his hometown.

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First responders lined the streets of Kennebec for a funeral procession on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, in honor of late fire chief Rod Bowar, who died Sunday, Aug. 28.
Cassandra Scholl for the Mitchell Republic
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KENNEBEC, S.D. — It was a somber Saturday in Lyman County as family, friends and acquaintances of Rod Bowar laid him to rest.

Bowar — who served as chief of the Kennebec Fire Department, member of the town's board and a local entrepreneur — died Sunday, Aug. 28, in Deadwood as a result of a heart attack.

The announcement of Bowar’s death led to hundreds of messages of support being shared across social media.

Throughout a Friday evening visitation and a Saturday morning funeral, those important to Bowar gathered to mourn his loss and exchange memories of the South Dakota Hall of Famer.

As a privilege of his public service through the local fire department, Bowar was honored with a special funeral procession by South Dakota Local Assistance State Team (LAST), an organization dedicated to providing support, planning and assistance for the families and the department members following the loss of life or line-of-duty death of a public safety officer.

First responders made the trip to Kennebec on Saturday with their emergency vehicles, where they lined both sides of South Dakota Highway 273 as Bowar's funeral procession returned to his hometown.

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News of Bowar’s passing quickly spread around the south-central South Dakota community, with social media posts amassing likes, comments and shares in his memory.

“He loved his hometown, helped his hometown, impacted his hometown, and will be remembered there forever,” one Facebook user commented. “My deepest sympathies…..he was so generous and wanted to keep Kennebec thriving with young people.”

“With sincere sympathy for family and friends of Rod Bowar, and sadness for Kennebec community to lose one of its finest. May you all take comfort in days ahead, remembering him with inspiration,” another comment reads.

More on Rod Bowar can be found in two past stories told by the Mitchell Republic.

Previous coverage on Rod Bowar...
The announcement of Bowar’s death led to hundreds of messages of support being shared across social media.
KENNEBEC -- The strong work ethic Rod Bowar has today showed at an early age. As a teen, the Kennebec native earned a job with Kennebec Telephone Company Inc. and worked for owners Lloyd and Delores Johnstone. With less than two years on the job,...

A South Dakota native, Hunter joined Forum Communications Company as a reporter for the Mitchell (S.D.) Republic in June 2021 and now works as a digital reporter for Forum News Service, focusing on regional news that impacts the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
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