Long-time Charleston business leader Samuel M. Bowling has died in Florida.
Bowling was president of the Dougherty Co. Inc., a Charleston-based heating, ventilation, air conditioning and mechanical contracting firm.
He played a prominent role in numerous business and community organizations over the years. He served at various times as chairman of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, the Contractors Association of West Virginia and other business groups. He also served as a director of the Charleston Sanitary Board, Yeager Airport and the Boy Scouts.
Mike Clowser, executive director of the Contractors Association of West Virginia, said, "I look back at the people I've respected over the years and I put Sam near the top of that list. Whatever he did, he gave 110 percent, whether it was the Boy Scouts or the contractors' association. And he encouraged others to become involved in philanthropic issues.
"I remember he got me involved in a Boy Scout fundraiser for just one year and then for two years. I think this is the 20th-some year I've worked on that Boy Scout fundraiser. Sam's enthusiasm made you want to get involved in those types of activities. He did things with such a great sense of humor and grace. He certainly was a gentleman."
Charleston Mayor Danny Jones commented, "I am very sorry to hear the news of Sam Bowling's passing. I've known him for most of my adult life, and I am grateful for all he did for our city for such a long time."
The mayor continued, "Sam served for at least 12 years as a member of the city's Civil Service Commission, which is so often a thankless job and yet one that is very important for the integrity of city government."I also valued tremendously his service, wisdom and experience that he brought to the Charleston Sanitary Board, on which he served for the past 12 years. Charleston has lost a friend who was not only a successful business leader, but also a civic leader in the truest and best sense of the words."