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Gordon Benjamin Fowler

1927 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Gordon Benjamin Fowler Obituary
Gordon Benjamin Fowler

Gordon Benjamin Fowler, 91, of Alpharetta, Ga, died on November 24, 2018. Gordon was a loving father and husband. He was born in Albany, GA in 1927 to Harry Fowler and Elizabeth Peak Fowler. The youngest of four brothers and one sister, he lived in many places around Atlanta during the depression. At one time, he even lived in a tent in the woods in nearby Lakewood, attending five-cent Buck Rogers matinees on Saturdays in the city.

He attended Immaculate Conception Grammar School and served as an altar boy at the church. Gordon, a natural athlete, was noticed for his football playing ability and was approved for a full scholarship to Marist High School, which opened the door to a good education. There he loved to play all sports: football, baseball, basketball, and track. He was captain of the football team his senior year, and was awarded a medal for the best all around athlete and scholar. He joined the Navy at seventeen and, although World War II ended while he was still in boot camp, it afforded him the opportunity to attend GA Tech. He received a degree in textile engineering with a minor in chemistry.

He married his streetcar sweetheart Frances Breen Fowler in Atlanta in 1951. They were married for 56 years and had eight children: five boys and three girls. He began his career as a plant manager in a textile mill, then transitioned to plastics when he joined Avisun in Charlotte, NC in 1968 as a regional marketing manager. In 1973 the family moved to St. Charles, IL where he became the director of the Polymers Research Division for Amoco Chemicals in Naperville. He attended Harvard Business School during his tenure at Amoco, and his group was responsible for developing polypropylene carpet, still widely in use today.

He loved any and all chocolate candy, Gilbert and Sullivan operas (which he would sing verbatim), western flicks, Shakespeare, attending school plays and coaching sports, dancing with his daughters to Tchaikovsky ballets in the living room, reading tomes on George Washington and other American leaders, making the best scrambled eggs and bacon in his Bugs Bunny apron, and watching CATS the musical with his grandkids.

Sports was his passion. He was an avid tennis player, bowler, and golfer, and faithfully followed Georgia Tech, Falcons and Braves teams.

Gordon could handle the toughest tasks, taking care of his bedridden wife Frances with alacrity and efficiency, becoming a proficient cook late in life when called upon. He cared for her with love and devotion until her death in 2007.

Edith Ivey entered the scene in 2010, changing his life "from vanilla to tutti frutti" (his words). Together they explored the arts, attended plays, and traveled the world. They married in 2012, going on a 90-day honeymoon around the world, from the Grand Canyon, Suez Canal, Petra in Jordan to the Taj Mahal. Edith expanded his horizons, giving him the chance to explore life outside his world of responsibilities.

Daddy-Grandaddy was hero to us all for his strong play ethic, sense of fair play, and flawless integrity. His compassion for those in need always stood out from everything else, and he believed in giving to others less fortunate. Even though he started with nothing, it was more than some others had.

He was predeceased by his first wife, Frances Breen Fowler; his son, Tommy Fowler; his siblings, Francis Fowler, Helen Fowler Owens, Robert Fowler, and Lawrence Fowler.

He is survived by his wife, Edith Ivey Fowler; his children, Vincent Fowler, Helen Fowler (spouse Lincoln Baxter), John Fowler, Martha Fowler (spouse Tom Cannon), Robert Fowler, Elizabeth Fowler Guthke, Joseph Fowler; six grandchildren, two great-grand children; and his sister-in-law, Elizabeth Breen Dinnat.

Thank you for always hiding candy in your office. That's from all the grandkids.

Services were held at St. Gabriel's Catholic Church Chapel in Charlotte, NC at 12:00 on Wednesday, November 28 with interment following at Sharon Memorial Park.

Donations, in lieu of flowers, can be made to the Foundation Fighting Blindness, www.blindness.org.
Published in Kane County Chronicle on Nov. 29, 2018
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