Matthew Bowersox

Matthew Bowersox

MIFFLINBURG — Mifflinburg schoolmates of the late Matthew Bowersox of recalled a person of great sincerity and kindness.

Among them, Mayor David Cooney who graduated from Mifflinburg Area High School one year ahead of Bowersox.

“You will not find a nicer man on the planet,” Cooney said. “He never was without a smile and a laugh. He always had time to stop and chat. (I) never heard him say a bad word about anyone.”

Cooney speculated that the victim’s pleasing personality and his links to the community will make his death harder to take.

“Matt was known by almost everyone that lived here,” Cooney said. “I think it is going to hit Mifflinburg very hard.”

Cooney also recalled that Bowersox was an employee of The Decorating Center where he visited with his wife when they first married. He noted his wife was in the same 1985 Mifflinburg graduating class as Bowersox.

Bonnie Dodge was also one year ahead of Bowersox in high school. Now of Montoursville, Dodge had similar recollections of a devoted family man as she had occasional contact with him through the years.

“He was a great guy and a great athlete,” Dodge said. “It is a real shame what happened to him. I just want to say the world is going to miss this great guy.”

Bowersox was on the quiet side, Dodge said, but had plenty of good feelings to offer.

“Everybody he ran into that he knew, he hugged them and tried to catch up with everybody,” she added. “He was (a) very friendly, very loving guy.”

Social media sources indicated Bowersox was a member of the Susquehanna University Class of 1990 and a fan of Kasey Kahne Racing. Shocked and saddened comments by members of the Mifflinburg were also common.

Bowersox, 53, died after being shot Friday night in the parking lot of the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, Hummels Wharf. Heather Sue Campbell, 46, of Trevorton, also died in the shooting.

The alleged shooter, Christopher Tauren Fernanders, 55, of Rockefeller Township, Northumberland County, was hospitalized with gunshot wounds sustained when a restaurant patron intervened, troopers noted.

Bowersox was most recently a sales associate for Brookside Homes.

Staff writer Matt Farrand can be reached at 570-742-9671 and via email at

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