William (Jack) Fowler 92, of Dos Palos, Ca heeded the final call of, "All aboard!" from natural causes, on Monday, December 30, 2013 as he left this life to finally spend an eternity with his Skinny Little War Bride Gloria.
He was born to the late Walter J Fowler and Marion E Fowler (nee Bowman) March 4, 1921 in Los Angeles, California. His early years were filled with memories of moving between Corvallis Oregon, Los Angeles, and Booneville, Ca. His Father would purchase property making improvements, selling for a profit.
His Father also was a farmer teaching Jack the basics of livestock maintenance and managing all aspects of a farm. This was Jack's dream to someday own his own farm. His late sister Dorothy Fowler of Santa Rosa, almost succumbed to a waterty tomb when she fell into a creek on the farm. She couldn't swim, and was lucky her little brother whom was only 6 at the time happened to be checking out of the creek in direct disobedience of his mother's rules. Jack being very clever pulled the only thing long enough to reach his sister. A willow tree branch, which was close to the bank and was strong enough to hold her while Jack encouraed her to pull herself up to the bank so he could help her out of the water.
He started his academic career in a one room school in Booneville. Jacks was the class clown much to the horror of his mother. At age 7 the moved to LA and lived with family as his parents divorced. Jacks great Uncle Will Bill became a permanent member of the family. Uncle Will became Jacks mentor filling in since he only saw his dad one other time when he was in the service. In the spring of 1936 his mother purchased a home in Sebastopol, Ca and the family moved north.
Jack fell in love with not only the town which had railroad tracks down the middle of main street, but also a beautiful young woman, he had met at a party that summer. After starting school at Analy high which was his sophmore year, he finally made his move and sent her a home made Valentine. She was impressed by the boldness of his card and the silliness of it. Tbe only way she could stem her curiosity was to accept the request of a date. After their first date they became inseparable and spent the majority of their free time together, going on group dates with their friends during the rest of their high school years. Jack and Gloria graduated from Analy High School in the spring of 1940. Jack wanted desperately to marry the love of his life upon graduation. Since was under the legal age of consent he would need his mothers permission to marry. Jack was so frustrated with her refusal of consent. Ha become more determined then ever when she stated that Gloria was the wrong girl for him, and it would never last. She did encourage and give consent for Jack to enlist in the army. He became a member of the US Army in early Devember of 1941. His Mother was hoping he would be stationed far from his love. Fate had other plans and Jack was stationed at the Presido in Monterey Ca.
Jack and Gloria spent every weekend when he had leave together in Sebastpol. With the help of Gloria's extensive family and Jacks stepfather all assisted in the Gloria and Jack coverup. On numerus occassions he was almost caught by his Mother but, thanks to the quick thinking of all those involved he avoided her ire. Jacks step father a liftime Mariner assisted Jack in his deception sneaking him their gas ration coupons so he could continue to come home to see his future wife. As 1941 ended and Jacks 21st birthday approached they made plans to wed. Three days after his 21st birthday William Jack Fowler married his skinny little war bride Gloria Harriet Brown in Monterey with a simple ceremony on March 7, 1942, Jack was transfered to Jacksonville Florida and his skinny little war bride followed. She was pregnant with their first child. The couple lived in a boarding house off base and Jack was approached by the government to help set up the properters whom the goverment belived to be german spies. Jack left false information in his desk draws as well as a set up his own trap to see if his drawers had been rifled through. Jack reported his findings and the German spies were arrested. As a reward for his assisting in National security and the apprehension of a Nazi spies, he was granted housing in unattainable married NCO housing. In the fall of 194Jack was shipped out to New York to board the Queen Mary to England. His division landed at Utah beach plus 30 and was the mail and supply company following the Dday invasion force. When the Germans surrendered, Jack was sent home ad he had enlisted prior to Pearl Harbor. Thus he had been granted a discharge of duty served, being flown back to the states with a short lay over in Brazil. He return was a complete suprise to his wife and daughter in Sebastopol. Jack worked for numerous farms, until an offered partnership with his Mother in Oregon made Jacks dream of owning his own farm come true. Thus the diffuclties as a family began. Jacks mother decided after Jack and Gloria had two more daughters that she wanted custody of their oldest daughter Jackie. She insisted that Jack sign custody to her and she would give him her half of the farm. Jack said No to her plot to buy Jackie for land and their partnership as well as his have dreams of his farm quickly vanished. She sold it all leaving the family no choice but to move to Sebastopol with Glorias parents. Jack took a job driving for Fleur Corp. and at the end of July 1959, they family bought their home in Larkfield. Within weeks they welcomed their only son that August of 1959. After many years commuting he found local employment at Empire Poultry, and worked with his son Jim until his retirement in 1984 so he could spend all his time following his two passions, which were being in the company of his beautiful wife and exploring the vast railroads of our countrty. Jack and Gloria had too many adventures to share here. They traveled across the US visiting and making videos of many of America's train lines. Jacks love of trains was of those great iron horses of the steam engine era. He began video taping them in the 80's and has probably one of the largest video tape collections in existence. He was an avid Train hobbyist and belonged to a model railroad train club for more then 30 years. They had a train room in their mobile home and Jack spent 15 years creating a 9 layer masterpiece. He enjoyed showing off his layout especially if he had a large portion of his collection of cars being pulled. He loved to see the expression on peoples faces when the engine was only feet from the back of the train. His life was filled with humor practical jokes and enjoying the company of many of their family and friends. Jack had a love of animals and most were characters like Jack. One such character was a doberman named Sugar who would take the pewter sugar bowl off the table and corner it on one of the kitchen chairs. She would then using her paws to hold it stable would relish the sweet stuff she was named for. She also had a habit of taking Gloria's top plate of false teeth and would come looking for the family. Smiling with pride and Glorias. After losing Rascal in 2003, Jack had sworn off dogs. Jim brought home to his mom a rescued Lasa Apso by the name of Stinky who became the most favored of all Jacks canine companions. Jack health began to fail from not excersing and with Gloria's adamant refusal to allow Jack to take the dog back to his rescuer was the reason Jack was restored to health. In 2004, Jack became his wife's care giver upon her developing dementia. He lovingly took care of her deteriorating health for six years. He became very adept at cooking and after a day railroading, he and his skinny little war bride would sit in their recliners side by side holding hands and spending time sharing all the magic their love had. They talked many nights into the wee hours. sharing stories and memories of their past and how they were made for each other. After 68 years of marriage and 73 years holding hands his life long best friend and woman he had loved since he first laid eyes on her. She passed peacefully on June 30, 2010 after asking her son to take care of him for her.Jack moved in with his son and daughter law. trains. Jim lost his job and rents soared in Santa Rosa they decided to move to Santa Nella to be closer to his daughter in May of 2013. They finally found home, in October of 2013 Jim, Shelley, Jack and Taz the cat moved to Dos Palos Ca. Jack is survived by his son Jim and his wife Shelley Wagner Fowler; his daughter Donna Blanchard and her long time partner Josh Swaine of Santa Nella, CA: Grandchildren; Terry(Monica) Wilson of Livermore; Sherry Wilson of Klamath Falls Oregon; Krissa Fowler her and partner David of San Francisco; James and Ricky Fowler of Sacramento, Ca; Joseph Wagner of Cotati Ca; Andrew Wagner of Chula Vista, Ca; Sydney Wagner of Santa Rosa, Ca; Taylor Wagner of Clearlake, Ca; Becca Shaffer of Modesto Ca; His great grandchildren; Miranda Wilson of Klamath Falls Or; Katie and Lindsey Wilson of Livermore,Ca; Jimmy J Fowler of Elk Grove,Ca; Kaden Lewis of Sacramento Ca; Alayna Fowler of Sacramento, Ca; and Arriana and Tyler Shaffer of Modesto.
He leaves behind Shelley's dad, Al Finch of Petaluma whom they shared many similar storys of riding the rails in a model T as well as other antics of their youth. They shared a similar sense of humor and love of family.
He also leaves his longtime fellow Train and model railroad enthusiasts who spent many years sharing their love of the railroads, Skip Ruekert of Larkfield and Russ Clover of Sebastopol, Ca.
He also leaves his favorite kitty and companion Taz who couldn't go a day without spending time with his grandpa. Jack has requested that instead of send flowers since he chose not have s service rather donations in his name can be made to the DYPC Corp, Dos Palos Food Pantry, 2017 Blossom St, Dos Palos, Ca 93620. At Jack's request that there will be no services.