I was shocked to see an obituary for Dave in the paper today. My heart goes out to Christel, Bonnie and Wes. I always enjoyed working with Dave at MHS. He was a true advocate for his students in every way. His passion for the AG program was evident in the way he built the program from just a few students to hundreds. My fondest memories include his smile and sense of humor. He always said that I should have been an AG teacher because I was at work at 5:30 every morning. Because of his diligence and leadership, Dave left a lasting legacy to his students and MHS. My thoughts and prayers are with the family as you move forward from your loss. Cindy Helmold, retired MHS language arts teacher.
ALEDO, Illinois - David Allen Fowler, 69, of Aledo, passed away on Saturday, March 9, 2019 in Peoria.
A funeral service will be held at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 15, 2019 at the Ralph J. Wittich-Riley-Freers Funeral Home. Chaplain Marvin Meservey will officiate.
Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Friday, March 15, 2019 at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to the Muscatine Ag Learning Center or the Riding for Success Therapeutic Riding Program.
David was born on November 20, 1949 in La Harpe, Illinois, the son of Relly and Lois Lionberger Fowler. He was raised on the family farm and attended a one-room school for several years. He was known to boast that he was #2 in his class, before revealing that there were only two students in his grade. He graduated from Nauvoo-Colusa High School, where he served as the FFA Chapter President.
David's competitive spirit was apparent from the time he was a young child when, according to his mother, he would hide one piece from the puzzles the family constructed so he could be the person to place the final piece. When playing Monopoly, he hoarded his piles of money in his lap to hide it from the other players. As a child he played baseball with his siblings and cousins; all of them against David and his team of imaginary players who were somehow always in the perfect spot to make fantastic plays and win the game. As an adult he played on a men's softball team where his strategy was to hit the ball far enough that he didn't have to run around the bases. He often told the story of hitting a homerun over the scoreboard and insisted that the ball was still flying through the air. As a coach he always stressed the importance of winning fairly. He said, "If they want to win, they have to outwork us". He was a gleeful winner, but never a sore loser.
David and his brother, Bill, spent many summers showing their North Country Cheviot sheep at shows across the area. It was at the Illinois State Fair that he met Christel Anderson, who became his wife December 19, 1970.
David attended Western Illinois University where he made lifelong friends as a member of the WIU Livestock Judging Team. After graduating he worked in sales, then as a hog buyer for Oscar Mayer before deciding to return to school to earn his teaching certificate. During this time David and Christel welcomed their children, Bonnie and Wes, into the family. After one year of teaching David spent five years in sales in Utah and Iowa. After accepting a position as the Vocational Agriculture instructor and FFA Advisor at Muscatine High School, he used many of those work experiences in his lessons. Over the next 29 years he expanded the Muscatine ag program from 38 students, to more than 300, including both rural and urban students from all backgrounds. He guided them through many projects including reclaiming the pond at the high school, building the FFA greenhouse, and along with a team of ag enthusiasts from the community, coordinating the creation of the Muscatine Ag Learning Center. David always made time to counsel current and former students through any of life's challenges.
Fowler family summers were spent raising and showing sheep, attending fairs where David judged, and helping students with livestock projects. He enjoyed each day so much that he never seemed to need a traditional vacation. Last summer he agreed to go with Christel to France, but only if he could tour local farms and livestock operations.
David loved to spend time golfing and fishing with his six grandchildren. They will all fondly remember waking up to their granddad singing "Summertime". When they were toddlers he taught them to hold their arms in the air so he could count their ribs, and each time that it tickled so much that they lowered their arms he would have to start all over. He had a gift for choosing animal names and they loved to find out what each new lamb, calf, or barn cat would be called. The grandchildren were always amused when they would meet people across the state who knew their granddad and had a story to share.
David retired in 2013 and any day he was asked what he was doing he happily said, "whatever I want". He was honored to continue participating in the Muscatine FFA program, serving on the Ag Learning Center Advisory Board and preparing students for contest right up until the week he became ill.
Those left to honor his memory include his wife, Christel, of Aledo; one daughter, Bonnie Butler and husband, Robert, of Tipton, Iowa; one son, Wes Fowler and wife, Jana, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; six grandchildren, Drew, Addison, Davis, and Alaina Butler, and Abigail and Jack Fowler; one brother, Bill Fowler and wife, Barb; and two sisters, Janice Daugherty and husband, Bob, and Carol Leenerts and husband, Dick. David was preceded in death by his parents.
I didn't know Fowler as long as most of you. I got to know him in the late 90s when I started helping with the Earlham FFA and Madison County 4-H Livestock Judging teams and as my teams learned from me in a hurry, if we beat Fowlers teams , we have a chance. We both determined our competitive "juices" came from him being coached by Cowman at Western Illinois and me being coached by Howard Miller at Miss. State. Even though we never played golf together, for the last few years I was coaching, I always carried my clubs to Ames, because we kept discussing about playing 9 while the kids were judging, but we never did. After his somewhat retirement, he would stop by the swine barn office at the state fair and catch up with me. just like we were still coaching. A great friend that made me work harder to have our kids prepared to compete with him. Ernie Barnes
God's peace be with Christel and family. The FB tributes written by former students and friends are heart warming to read. Dave touched so many and will be cherished forever.
Paul & Mary K. Thomas
where to begin. Some knew they where gong to be in Fowler's Ag class as generations before them and generations after. Others for the "easy A". Only to find you had to earn that A, but earning an A was different in his class. I believe we did not see what we where learning at the time. I was nether of these.
I was a freshman in my woods class next door when David Fowler came over and said i should add Ag for the next semester. Mind you I move to Muscatine middle of freshman year so didn't know many people. Rich kids, poor kids, city kids, country kids... you name it we where all in Ag class. Ya you learned cuts of beef, pork,and other book smarts. However you also learned work, drive, and value.
As a high school kid you only though of being out of other classes for the Ag day at the high school. At least I know that all I thought about. Yet we " the kids" set up pens, helped load and unload animals walked countless future generation through the animals and shared our work... fish, pond, ag center, green house you name it. We answered questions from young inquiring minds " not thinking about it being community work or mentoring". This man we all hold in our hearts and minds did not try to fit us all into the same mold, but did mold us. He believed in us, challenged us, pushed us to dream and think bigger. For this and countless other teaching, life lessons "we kids" hundreds if not thousands will forever be #fowlerproud
Dave and his wife were a great team in being passionate abut helping and teaching kids. My wife and I remember having to take Dave to get stitches at a Hawkeye Tech judging contest after he cut a finger on a livestock gate. His students loud oral reasons were always impressive. it was great to be able to see and work with Dave!
Milt and Kelly Luckstead
Dave....I will miss you, your humor and pearls of wisdoms will always be with me. I will miss our golf games, judging practices, and most of all your friendship that has lasted over 30 years. I am deeply saddened and will think of you often. I was always proud to call you a friend!
I first became acquainted with Dave Fowler when he enrolled at Western Illinois University majoring in Agriculture. Then during his in his Junior Year he came out to try out for the College Livestock Judging Team, he made made the Travel Squad with the Senior Team and it easy to spot Dave's knowledge about Animal Science and competition in general...He was a competitor & he help set the pace for all of those around him....I will miss Dave tremendously...It is my honor to have had Dave Fowler and his wonderful wife as my life-long friend...Proud, Proud of you Dave. You set the Bar for all....
I'm so very shocked and very saddened for loss of Dave Fowler. He was a very special person and a good man and a good friend and I learned a lot from him and im really going to miss him and his sense of humor.
We are so sorry fro your loss. Sending peace and light from Tucson.
Carmen and Grant Hull
Was shocked to receive word of Dave's passing. I send my prayers and
condolences to his Family. I spend my winters in Alabama and will be unable
to attend his funeral. Dave was a student of mine at Nauvoo-Colusa High
School. He loved his livestock and was quite a beef cattle judge then.
May GOD ease your pain in this time of sorrow.
Mervin Mixer (old VoAG teacher0
I met Dave at WIU and found immediately he was quite a character! Positive in every aspect while being clever, funny, and a joy to be around. One year ahead of me I followed him on the judging team and upon graduating followed him to Oscar Mayer as a fellow buyer. Nancy and I had many visits with Dave and Crystal during our young careers. There was never a doubt Dave was one of those charismatic leaders! His influence will be felt for generations. Rest In Peace my friend.
Paul & Nancy Meers
Was so sorry to see this today. I worked with David on occasion during our years of teaching agriculture/FFA. He did a terrific job at Muscatine and left behind a good legacy with his students, just as I am sure he has done with his family. My thoughts and prayers to you.
I truly believe Dave saved my son’s life when he was Rob’s Ag teacher in high school. He told him to go to Western Illinois University and got him a job at on a farm near the college. The wife of the farmer tutored him in math and he graduated! He has stayed with Ag in one way or another all of his life and stayed friends with Dave and Christel all this time also! Dave was a saint for this single parent and her son! He will be truly missed! Pam Knott
I remember Mr Fowler by always seeing a smile on his face and he would always be in the hallway when he would always say hi and call me by name even though I never knew how he knew it because I didn't have him as a teacher till my senior year. He was a wonderful teacher, he always told his students that if They wanted to be treated like a adult he would treat them that way but if they acted like a child he would then be their babysitter.
RIP David Fowler, or as some called him Fowler. You are going to be very truly missed by lots of people both young and old.
PhotosAdd a photo
Show your love and support by purchasing flowers for the family