William Leon Fowler
Evansville, Ind. - William Leon Fowler, 98, of Evansville passed away peacefully Tuesday, November 24,2020 at Walnut Creek Alzheimer's Special Care Center with his three loving daughters by his side. He was born at home in Waverly, Kentucky on June 4,1922 to James Robert "Rob" and Frances Pearl (Raley) Fowler.
Bill, or Leon as he was called by his Kentucky family, left the family farm and moved to Evansville in 1940 when he was 17. He attended Smith Mills, Kentucky High School before relocating to Evansville. Throughout his life, he enjoyed going back to Kentucky to the area he loved and where he spent his childhood.
Bill was a true patriot and very proud to have served in the U.S. Army during WWII enlisting October 25, 1940 and serving "4 years, 7 months and 22 days." He served in the European Theatre of Operation (ETO) as part of the 5th Infantry Division. After two years of training, the 5th ID landed in Normandy on Utah Beach in July 1944, over a month after the initial D-Day landings. Bill was wounded the first time on December 24,1944 while fighting with General Patton's Third Army at the Battle of the Bulge and then two more times in Germany in early 1945. He was awarded the Bronze Star for heroism and a Purple Heart with two Oak Leaf clusters.
After the war, Bill worked for a time at Mead Johnson where he met the love of his life, Virginia Yellig. They married on June 21,1947 at St. Anthony's Catholic Church. In 1948 they joined St. Theresa Catholic Church and together they raised their three daughters and one son in the close-knit neighborhood surrounding the church. They were hard-working, dedicated and involved parishioners for over 60 years.
Bill left Mead Johnson to join the U.S. Post Office where he worked as a letter carrier for 31 years before retiring in 1984.
In addition to his parents, Bill was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia in 2017; his grandmother, Margaret Raley, who helped raise him after the death of his mother; brothers, James, Ralph, Ben, David, Robert, Joe and Don Fowler; sister, Helen; son-in-law, Jerry Mattingly.
Bill is survived by daughters, Phyllis Fowler, Sandra Madriaga (Mike), and Marilyn Sue Mattingly all of Evansville; son, Thomas Fowler (Lisa) of Mt. Juliet, TN; sister, Frances Jean Rosentreter of Newark, CA; sisters-in- law, Marlene Fowler and Sue Fowler; grandchildren, Zac Mattingly (Cathy), Mandy Singer, Brett Mattingly (Amanda Bennett), and Heather Madriaga all of Evansville, April Zik (Josh) of Pewee Valley, KY, Cameron Fowler and Brooke Fowler of Mt. Juliet, TN; great-grandchildren, Malaya, Koa and Alina Mattingly, Zoey and Charlotte Zik and Kyndal Bennett.
The family wishes to extend a special thank you to Walnut Creek for their loving care of Bill.
Due to the pandemic, services will be private.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association
of Greater Indiana, 50 East 91st St., Suite 100, Indianapolis, IN 46240 or Habitat for Humanity of Evansville, Designation St. Theresa Place Rex Mundi HS Build, 560 E. Diamond Ave., Evansville, IN 47711.
Condolences may be made to the family online at www.browningfuneral.com