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Jack Donovan Fowler

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Jack Donovan Fowler Obituary
Jack Donovan Fowler

Red Bank - Jack Donovan Fowler, age 97, passed away Thursday, April 12, 2018 in Red Bank, NJ. He was born on a farm outside of Lincoln, Nebraska, rode a horse to a one-room schoolhouse and hitchhiked to the University of Nebraska, graduating in May, 1942 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He immediately enlisted in the Army as WWII was raging in Europe. After becoming an officer, Jack was sent by troop train to Little Silver, NJ. The troops were marched double time, in the middle of the night, down the road to Ft. Monmouth. In May of '43, having never seen the ocean, he ventured to the Asbury Park boardwalk where he fortuitously met and fell in love with Grace Valentine. They married later that year and enjoyed 70 years of marriage.

On July 1, 1944, he shipped out to Normandy, France and fought with the 7th Armored Division (The Lucky 7th) under Gen. Patton. His division played an active role in one of the deadliest battles of all time, the Battle of the Bulge. Jack was awarded the French Croix de Combattant and participated in the liberation of St. Vith, the Battle of the Ardennes and Ramagen. After the war, he returned to Red Bank, but never forgot those soldiers who were not as lucky.

Jack lived the American dream, becoming a CPA and starting his own firm. He became known as the "Jack of Clubs", as many of his clients were tennis, golf, beach and country clubs. Together Jack and Grace raised four daughters, enjoying their home on the Navesink River, having parties and raising many pets, including a St. Bernard and a pony named Patches.

Jack was a founding member of the Navesink Country Club, joining with a group of friends in 1963 who had a vision of a family country club. He served as the treasurer during the first few years and remained a member until his death. He also was a member of the Sea Bright Lawn Tennis and Cricket Club, The Root Beer and Checker Club and the John's Island Club in Vero Beach, FL, where he and Grace had a second home. Jack was a gifted athlete winning several club championships in both tennis and golf.

One friend recently said that "Jack won the game of life" as his tumultuous early years lead to a joyous and fulfilling adulthood. He was a dedicated patriot and deeply believed in rugged individualism and America's legacy of freedom.

Jack was predeceased by his loving wife Grace in 2014. He will be dearly remembered by his four loving daughters Gail DiFiore (Kenneth), Lynn Herlihy (Thomas), Robin Hemphill (Joseph) and Grace Fowler Wrightson; his six grandchildren Kimber Shoop III, Thomas Herlihy, Jr., Sarah Herlihy, Jonathan Jacobs, Carrie Pasch and Lily Wrightson and his seven great-grandchildren.

Services are private. Donations in Jack's memory can be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Published in Asbury Park Press on Apr. 17, 2018
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