An 84-year-old military veteran, who faced homelessness in freezing temperatures before police and community members stepped in to help in March, died Tuesday.
Bobby Bowers died at Piedmont Medical Center, York County Coroner Sabrina Gast said.
But veterans and advocates are not done caring for him.
The York County’s Veterans Affairs Office is raising money to help with his funeral expenses and other costs, said Melinda Woodhurst, veterans service officer for York County.
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“We are working to assist any way that we can,” Woodhurst said. “This community cares about its veterans, and showed it with Mr. Bowers.”
The Herald reported in March that police, veterans activists and the community had helped Bowers after they learned that he had been evicted in freezing temperatures.
More than $6,000 was raised for Bowers’ care.
Bowers, a Navy veteran from 1951 to 1955, was living with others when constables served a legal eviction notice on the Eden Terrace home.
Constables told police about Bowers’ fragile health and age, and Rock Hill Police Department officers refused to allow him to become homeless, saying he could face “potential death” from freezing.
Police took Bowers to the hospital and called the S.C. Department of Social Services. Bowers had a DSS case manager until he died, said Woodhurst.
Money raised from donations paid for an apartment and other expenses, said Amber Clark, commander of VFW Post 2889 in Rock Hill.
Clark said Bowers was stunned that so many people cared about him.
“The whole community was generous and wonderful and Mr. Bowers appreciated it,” Clark said.
Veterans advocacy organizations and honor guards are prepared to be part of Bowers’ funeral.
Funeral arrangements are pending, Woodhurt said.
Want to help?
Contact the York County Veterans Affairs Office at 803-909-7525, or go to the office at 529 S. Cherry Road, Rock Hill.