Floyd Charles Fowler, 91, passed away on August 31, 2023, at Monument Hospital in Spearfish, SD.
Floyd was born July 11th, 1932, on the Gasper Burley farm outside of Fowlerville, MI to Silas & Ida M (Diebert) Fowler. His eight years of grammar school was at the rural Briggs School, 2¼ miles from the farm. It was a one room school with a wood furnace. He spent two years at Fowlerville High School and graduated from Howell High School in 1951. Floyd joined the U.S. Army in April 1952; he was assigned to Military Police School in Camp Gordon, GA. In 1953, he married a beautiful Spanish girl, Rebecca Navarro. They spent the remaining two years of military service together at Ft. Devens, Massachusetts. Becky gave birth to a boy, Lawrence Charles, the first of six children, on October 1, 1954, at Ft. Devens. Staff Sergeant Fowler was discharged in May 1955.
Following military service, Floyd enrolled at Jackson Junior College at Jackson, MI. He received an Associates of Science degree in 1957 and went on to Michigan State University on academic scholarship. At MSU, Floyd was a member of two honorary fraternities, Zi Sigma Pi in the field of Forestry and Alpha Zeta in the field on Agriculture. He graduated with honors in August 1959 with a BS degree majoring in Forest Science.
He accepted a Forester position in Timber Management with the U.S. Forest Service on the Coeur d’ Alene National Forest, Idaho. In 1961 he transferred to the Wallace Ranger District, in Wallace, Idaho as a Small Sales Officer and Assistant Fire Control Officer. In 1963, he transferred to Swan Lake Ranger District, Big Fork, MT where he was a Resource Manager in charge of wildlife, watershed, cattle range, timber, and special uses on the Flathead National Forest. During his tenure, he served two years as the Flathead Chapter President for the Society of American Foresters. IN 1969, he transferred to the Lolo National Forest, Missoula, MT as the Timber Manager on the Nine Mile Ranger District. In 1978, he transferred to the Nemo Ranger District on the Black Hill National Forest, Deadwood, SD as Timber Manager. During his tenue on the Deadwood District, Floyd received a National Award from the Chief of the Forest Service for introducing Cable Yarding Systems on the Forest. In 1989, he was assigned the position of Forest Timber Sales Administrator. He retired with 35 years as a Forester in January 1994.
Floyd cherished his family, which always came first. He also loved serving the Catholic Parishes at each location he was assigned to. His faith meant everything to him. He held various positions in parish life. One of his passions was teaching 7/8th grade Confraternity of Christian Doctrine at his Parish in Big Fork and Frenchtown, MT. He always worked closely with the parish pastors in ‘totally supportive’ role. His Christian faith was greatly challenged at the untimely death of his son Marvin Allen, 17. He joined his Savior while working on the Big Sky Ranch in Frenchtown, MT where he served as an Irrigation Supervisor.
Floyd passionately served many positions in the Father Szalay Council #6251 of the Knights of Columbus. His primary leadership roles were Grand Knight, Faithful Navigator, and District Deputy. He became an Honorary Life member of the First Degree in 1980 and in the Forth Degree in 1987. He also served in the Color Corps. The Fowler Family was chosen for the “Family of Year” for the State of South Dakota in the Knights of Columbus in 2004.
Floyd had countless hobbies. He enjoyed sports, especially baseball, and whatever activities his children and grandchildren participated in. He and Becky spent many years riding their road bikes and mountain bikes up Spearfish Canyon, to Belle Fourche, and several other scenic excursions in the beautiful Black Hills. He took several hunting and fishing trips with his son, grandson, and son-in-law, which included anywhere from Canada to Lake Texoma. His favorite was pheasant hunting. He also spent many hours woodworking and dabbled in photography, always documenting family memories.
Those left to cherish his memory is his brother, Samuel (Pat) Fowler, his children Larry (Marie) Fowler, Yorktown, VA, Brian Fowler, Billings, MT, Yvonne (Roger) Piane, Missoula, MT, Eric (Trayce) Fowler, Sturgis, SD, Angela (Jeff) Hebbert Huron, SD, his grandchildren Jessica (Dave) Schuster, Rachel (Josh) Green, Brandon (Callisa) Piane, Mandy (Brandon) Wipf, Jarrett (Abbey) Fowler, Sara Fowler, Zachary (Taylar) Hebbert; Lauren Fowler, Joshua Fowler, and four great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.
Floyd was preceded in death by his beautiful wife, Rebecca, son Marvin, and grandson Michael Piane.
Visitation will be from 4-5 PM on Wednesday, September 6, 2023 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Spearfish. Vigil will follow at 5 PM. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:00 AM on Thursday, September 7, 2023 at the church. Burial will follow at Black Hills National Cemetery with full military rites by the Spearfish Honor Guard and the US Army.
Arrangements are under the care of Fidler-Isburg Funeral Chapels and Isburg Crematory of Spearfish. Online condolences may be written at www.fidler-isburgfuneralchapels.com