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A few weeks ago Scott County lost one of its most outstanding citizens with the death of Fonda Bowling — affectionately called “Fonzie” by many of us.

Fonda worked as a dispatcher for the Scott County Sheriff’s Department and the Oneida Police Department for 27 years, spanning the days from basic tools of the trade to present-day state-of-the-art technology, and she mastered it all.

Dispatchers are a lifeline for the officers and there is nothing more reassuring than the voice of a dispatcher who is monitoring their activities and is ever alert to respond to their needs. Fonda was a true professional who was so thoroughly knowledgable and proficient she could anticipate our needs and bring things together for us, often before we even asked. She was also an asset to the citizens of our county and was there to render to them the services they required when they called 911 with an emergency or dispatch to ask a question or make a request.

Occasionally someone comes along that seems to be born to succeed in his or her chosen profession. Fonda was one of those, and unquestionably as good as it as anyone I ever met in my years in the Army, the Scott County Sheriff’s Department and throughout my life. She was the very epitome of what a dispatcher should be.

Many knew her voice but few know what she did “off the air” as a dispatcher and a single mother who raised a fine daughter and loved and enjoyed her grandchildren as we do our own. She did an exemplary job of that and it goes without saying that her family is deeply saddened by her loss as we all are and we grieve with them.

Regardless of that, life goes on and other voice are and will be going out over the air waves as long as law enforcement activities continue. But only a few of them will achieve the level of excellence that she did.

There is a simple phrase that is often used to express the feelings about the incredibly superior accomplishments of a person who has passed on. I say simple, and the following quoted phrase is simple and seems to be terribly insufficient. But it is intended to convey the highest regard for that person:

“She will be missed.”

Robby Carson
Oneida, Tenn.