SUMPTER, Ore. -- Friends in the small town of Sumpter, Oregon are remembering Gordon Rowan, as we learn more about the man killed during a terrorist attack in Algeria last week.
Rowan was one of three American victims kidnapped and killed.
He grew up in Ontario and graduated high school there in 1973. But his friends tell us he had recently been spending most of his time in Sumpter, near Baker City. He was also traveling the world as a petroleum engineer.
Gordon Rowan had been visiting the mountain community of Sumpter since he was a child.
Friends tell us he had recently decided to call it his home.
Jay Phillips has known Rowan's family for years. "He liked to hike around and he enjoyed the outdoors, that's why he was moving here," said Phillips.
Phillips also lives next door to the family cabin where Rowan planned to retire in just a few months.
He tells us Rowan wanted to finish a few more projects first, including work on an oil field in Algeria -- an oil field that was attacked by terrorists last week.
"We saw the report on the news of the hostage situation and at that time we kind of looked at each other and I knew that was an area where Gordon went," said Phillips.
In the following days, the small Sumpter community learned that Rowan was one of three Americans kidnapped. Then, they learned he had been killed.
"It's kind of a disbelief at first, hard to believe it's reality and a lot of folks are pretty upset by it," said Phillips.
Friends tell us Rowan had served in the U.S. Army before traveling the country as a petroleum engineer with BP.
His two sons and one-year-old granddaughter will miss him, along with many in eastern Oregon. "He was very sincere, always had a smile, liked to laugh, have a good time, but we will miss him," said Phillips.
Phillips says he asked Rowan about his safety in Algeria. Rowan says he never felt like he was in any danger there.
Friends tell us they are now working on getting Rowan's body back home.