Terry Roy Fowler, of Port Orchard, Wash., was born on March 18, 1943 to Donald and Betty Fowler in Watertown, New York. He had an older brother Bruce and younger brother Ric and younger sister Linda. They spent their summers at the family cabin at Knobby Knoll on Lake Ontario. Knobby Knoll is where so many memories were made over the years.
Upon graduating from Watertown High School, knowing that he wanted a military career in the United States Air Force, he applied for and was accepted to the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. The Citadel is one of the six senior military colleges in the United States. He spent 26 years in the Air Force in Strategic Air Command as a navigator on the KC-135 air refueling plane.
First, he completed his navigator training at Mather Air Force Base (AFB), California. Then, he was assigned to the 42nd Air Refueling Squadron at Loring AFB, Maine. In 1968, during the Vietnam War, he deployed to U-Tapao Air Base in Thailand for a year. Over his career, Terry was assigned to Castle AFB, CA as an instructor navigator, Mather AFB, CA as a squadron evaluator in the 904th Air Refueling Squadron, and Barksdale AFB, Louisiana as a major command evaluator in the 1st Combat Evaluation Group (CEVG).
After Barksdale AFB, LA, Terry went back to Mather AFB where he was promoted to Lt. Colonel and became the Operations Officer for the 904th Air Refueling Squadron. Soon after, he achieved his goal of becoming the Squadron Commander of the 904th. Finally, he finished out his career at Offutt AFB in Nebraska, as a member of the Strategic Air Command’s Joint Targeting Staff and as the project manager for the Air Force’s Proof of Concept Experimental Test Bed.
Upon retirement from the Air Force in 1992, Terry began another career. He worked as a contractor for the EPA. He took his job with the EPA near as serious as his Air Force career. He was part of the Space Shuttle Columbia clean-up team in Texas. He was proud to be selected to this team. He located and logged GPS coordinates of debris and remains near Nacogdoches, Texas. He also was called to help with clean up in New Orleans for hurricane Katrina. In both careers with the Air Force and EPA, he served our country to keep it safe.
Moreover, Terry loved life to its fullest. He was the happiest wherever he could serve others. He served the homeless in Tacoma for many years. He would take them cases of water and Debbie cookies to give out. Needless to say, they loved him. He loved his job as an usher at church; he did this for many years. As with most tasks, he was told he was the best. Terry was a praying man, always asking if someone needed prayer; and was always faithful to pray for them.
Terry loved any kind of sport, but racquetball was his number one for most of his life. He won many state championship tournaments and the United States Western Regional Tournament in racquetball. After these wins, he had offers to go professional. He also loved his golf, especially the years he spent playing with the Baltray boys (Ted Johnson, Ed Koski, and Andrew King). They had quite the thing going. They even had an end of the year green jacket for winner of the season.
Terry enjoyed camping and fishing. His fishing trips to the Mokelumne River located in the mountains of California with the boys were the best.
Terry, ever the adventurer, traveled to many different places. It was a joy for him. They visited a daughter in Spain; they made a pilgrimage to Fatima, Portugal for his son Stephen; they made a pilgrimage to Israel to see the Holy Land; they saw a lot of the United States, which included class reunions every five years at his beloved Citadel. He and Susan took a trip to see one of the kids at least once a year, and that was always a favorite.
Proud moments for Terry were the births of his three boys, especially the birth of his youngest, Christopher (Bunkie), who was born prematurely at 4lbs, 3oz. Terry always called him his miracle baby. As his boys got older, he ended up crisscrossing the country to see his oldest, David, sworn into the Air Force as a flight crew member and, a few years later, graduate from the Sacramento Fire Department Academy. He attended football games at Sacramento State University where his second oldest, Stephen, played on a scholarship as an inside linebacker. He also saw his youngest, Christopher, play varsity football during his high school years. If that is not enough, Terry traveled to North Dakota, Nebraska, California, and, of course, Washington to watch any sporting event played by the grandkids.
Dancing is how Terry and Susan met. They pretty much danced every chance they got, including right into marriage on June 15, 1996. Terry always referred to Susan as “his bride” their entire marriage. They became a blended family of seven children, nineteen grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. The oldest to youngest are David, Stephen, Dawn, Tom, Christopher, Jill and Steven. Terry loved Dawn, Tom, Jill and Steven as his own. He never referred to them as stepchildren; he always claimed them as his children.
Some of Terry’s favorite colors are: Nebraska-Red, Washington-Purple, Seahawk-Green/Blue and Syracuse-Orange. His favorite candy was M&Ms with peanuts, and he could eat the “whole big bag.” Isn’t that right Steve? The kids all knew what dad liked, so they always sent him a big bag of M&Ms for birthdays and holidays. Not to be outdone, Terry was also a voracious vanilla ice cream connoisseur sometimes we would scoop what we wanted from the carton and then handed him the rest of the carton with a spoon!
On June 29th, at the Washington Veterans Home-Retsil in Port Orchard, Terry Fowler went home to be with the Lord. He was preceded in death by his parents, Donald and Betty, his brother Ric, his sister-in-law, Judy, Rics wife, and his sister-in-law Stephanie Hack, Susan’s sister.
He is survived by his wife Susan, his brother Bruce (Vicki), his sister Linda, and his children: David (Tracy), Dawn (Christopher), Stephen (Terri), Thomas (Mandy), Christopher (Missy), Jill (Jerry), Steven ( Marlenia, as well as his grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends. He will always be remembered and greatly loved by those who knew him, especially his family.
A celebration of Terry’s life will be held at Christ the Rock Community Church, 1400 Old Clifton Road, Port Orchard, WA 98367 at 2:00pm on Saturday, July 18, 2020. Or live stream at: https://youtu.be/nU5yfUKHS8Y
Memorials may be made to: Mission House-3965 Bethel Rd Suite 1, PMB 216 Port Orchard, WA 98366 or online at https://themissionhouse.info
Posted in: rill.com
Posted on: 2020-07-13
Link to original obituary: https://www.rill.com/obituaries/Terry-Fowler-3/#!/Obituary