Albert “Gene” Fowler, 87, of Ooltewah TN, loving husband, father, brother, uncle, friend, and “dad” to many, died peacefully at Hospice of Chattanooga on Saturday, October 10, 2020. Gene was born on September 3, 1933, in Foster Oklahoma, to Carl Warren Fowler, a diesel mechanic, and Sarah Ann (Johnson) Fowler, a homemaker.
Gene graduated from Glendale High School in Phoenix, AZ and enlisted in the US Navy at age 17 (“editing” his age to 18 at the time), where he served as a Boilermaker and Crow’s Nest Gunner aboard the USS Princeton during the Korean Conflict. After being honorably discharged in 1954, Gene returned to Arizona, where he married his sweetheart, Easter Jean Starnes, on October 2, 1954. His service in the Navy Reserve ended in 1959.
Gene began working for Empire Tractor, a Caterpillar dealership, in Phoenix, as a welder, was later promoted to journeyman mechanic and then became a testing engineer for the Caterpillar Proving Grounds outside of Phoenix. He attended Phoenix College and later, received an MBA from Caterpillar Tractor Company’s Continuing Education System. In 1965 he was recruited to Hawthorne Machinery Company in San Diego, California, where he worked as the service manager.
In 1970, wanting to move his family to what he believed to be a more family-friendly environment, he accepted a position at Caterpillar’s Stowers Machinery in Chattanooga, TN, and moved this family of six to Collegedale, TN. Gene worked as Service Manager for Stowers until returning to Southern California with his wife, Easter, in 1979. In 1979 Gene and Easter moved back to San Diego, where Gene accepted a position with Caterpillar, at Hawthorne Machinery Company to serve as Vice-President.
Once retired, Gene and wife, Easter, settled in Round Rock Texas until 2008, when he was recruited by his son, Randy, to help build a metal finishing company in Cleveland, TN. There, he used his engineering skills and consulting until one week before his death.
Gene was a self-taught singer and guitar player, often serenading his family and friends with the classic country music he loved so dearly. He was an avid woodworker and skilled furniture builder and was known for his ability to “fix anything.”
Gene was a man of faith, and In 1958 he was baptized into the Seventh-Day-Adventist-Church. There, he served the Lord as a deacon, elder, Bible class instructor, youth outreach, and numerous community programs. Such was his faith that in 2013, Gene’s book entitled, “Why I Am What I Am”; which details his faith and love for the Word of God, was published.
Gene is survived by his wife of 66 years, Easter Jean Fowler of Ooltewah, TN; children; Lynda Stevens (Johnny), of Smith Valley, NV, Randall Fowler, (Debbie), of Ooltewah, TN, DeAnn Milly (David), of Orange Beach, AL, and Tracy Campbell (Don) of Warner Robins, GA Grandchildren; Heidi Greening, (Jeremy), of Riverside, CA, Scott Page, (Brandy), of Lone Tree, CO, Chris Hindman, (Lauren), of East Haven, CT, Matthew Hinkley, (Victoria), of Reseda, CA, Zacc Hinkley, of Redondo, CA, Nicholas Lowell, of Flagstaff, AZ, Elliott Lowell, of Redondo Beach, CA, Brendan Wiseman, of Warner Robins, GA; Great Grandchildren; Emma Greening, Colin Greening, Oliver Greening, Jemima Greening, Viola Greening, Winifred Greening, Tabitha Greening, Mathilda Greening, Harvey Hinkley, Ava Hinkley; Siblings; Carl Lee (Barbara), of Lakeside, AZ, Louise Winfrey, of Mesa, AZ, Brenda Ervin, of Mesa, AZ, and beloved nieces and nephews.
Visitation is scheduled for Wednesday, October 14, 2020, 2:00-4:00 PM, at Heritage Funeral Home, 7454 E Brainerd Rd, Chattanooga, TN. Facial coverings and social distancing measures will be observed. A private burial will take place at Collegedale Memorial Park. A memorial service will be announced at a later date.
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