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Robert Jowdy, 48, died unexpectedly while working at high school over winter break

A school district employee working during winter break at Southridge High School died at the campus.

Beaverton police said 48-year-old Robert A. Jowdy of Beaverton, died shortly before 8:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 30, at Southridge High School on Southwest 125th Avenue from suspected heart failure. Jowdy was a custodial worker with the Beaverton School District.

Police, along with medics from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, Metro West Ambulance and the Washington County medical examiner's office responded to the site, where Jowdy was reportedly found by another employee. Students and staff were gone from the school at the time, for a two-week winter break that lasted until Jan. 6. District offices were also closed. Attempts to revive Jowdy at the scene were unsuccessful, police said.

Kevin McDonald, school resource sergeant for Beaverton schools, said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the incident, noting it appeared to be "a heart-related issue," but neither the police, school district nor medical examiner's office could confirm the cause of death.

"We lost Southridge High School custodian Robert Jowdy while he was on the job over the winter break," said Maureen Wheeler of the Beaverton School District. "He had been with the school district for four months."

The district declined to provide any further information, citing health privacy laws.

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