A. Marie Fowler, 87, Holdrege, Neb.

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Funeral services for A. Marie Fowler will be conducted from the First Baptist Church in Holdrege, Neb., on Wednesday, Dec. 22, at 11 a.m. with Rev. Dr. Gary Winget officiating. Interment will be in the Prairie Home Cemetery at Holdrege.

Alice Marie (Johnston) Fowler, 87 years of age, passed away on Sunday, Dec. 19, 2004, at the Christian Homes in Holdrege.

She was born May 28, 1917, in Byars, Okla., the eldest of two daughters of Clarence Francis and Anna Leah (Edgmon) Johnston. Marie was a registered Chickasaw Indian, establishing her blood line through her father, C.F. Johnston, an original enrollee in the Oklahoma Territory in 1904. Marie’s father was a salesman for E.B. Price and The Jewel Tea Company who went into new territories and opened up new sales routes. Once the routes were established, his company would move C.F. to another area. He always took his family with him. This meant many school changes for Alice Marie and her sister, Lois. Marie attended three junior high schools and five high schools. The family moved to Oklahoma City, where Marie graduated from Central High School with the class of 1935.

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She often spoke of the many moves she made as a young person but she always found support in the church. Marie and her mother were both baptized in February 1932 in the First Baptist Church of Wichita, Kan., by

Rev. Dr. McClung.

During these travels, Marie studied music, taking piano lessons for seven years and playing the cornet in an all girls band in Oklahoma City. She also developed a love of art during this time. She has a sketch book that she filled with pencil drawings of her friends and attached a photograph of each on the page with the sketch.

Marie met J. Clyde Fowler in the youth group at the First Baptist Church in Ponca City, Okla. She was shy but caught his eye. He preached his first sermon on his 17th birthday and had decided that he was called into the ministry. Marie agreed to be his wife soon after they graduated from high school and they were united in marriage on April 21, 1937, at Enid, Okla., and to this union God gave three children: Joyce, J.C. “Bill&uot; and Edward R.

Through the years of Clyde’s pasturing, Marie served as church secretary, church pianist or organist, taught Sunday School classes, taught Vacation Bible School, participated in the women’s work, sang alto in the choir, and often sang duets with Clyde. They often went to the American Baptist Assembly in Green Lake, Wis.; usually attending the Mission Conference for which they both had a great passion.

Marie always had a love of art and handcrafts. She taught handcrafts to many youngsters in Vacation Bible Schools and Church Camps in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming. She took art courses at four different community colleges in Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming after she took up oil painting in the 1960s. She developed an oil and beaded technique to paint on smooth rocks and those painted rocks were shipped as far as Germany to fill requests. Many requests were made for painting of family homesteads or another favorite request was the “Wyoming Bucking Bronco” scene that was used as favors at banquets. Marie estimated that she had painted over 1500 rocks and 200 oil paintings

Marie was an avid seamstress and loved to crochet. She made countless afghans for friends and family over the years. In later years, Marie had Parkinson’s which hindered her participation in many Church activities but her heart was always there. She read her Bible every day, completely reading through the Bible eight years in a row before her eye sight began to slow her down. She missed being able to go to the nursing homes and visit friends. She played the piano at the Methodist Homes for group singing for about two years before Parkinson’s took away the feeling in her fingers.

She leaves to mourn her passing one daughter, Joyce Barnes and her husband Howard of Odenton, Md.; one son, Edward R. Fowler and his wife Jan of Holdrege; one daughter-in-law, Gayleen Nestor and her husband Wayne of Stromsburg, Neb.; nine grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; one great- great-grandchild; and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Besides her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents; one son, J.C. “Bill”; and one sister, Lois Danely and her husband Quentin.

Mrs. Fowler will lie in state at the Nelson-Bauer Funeral Home today, Dec. 21, from 1 to 9 p.m., with the family greeting from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

A memorial has been established in her memory.

The Nelson-Bauer Funeral Home in Holdrege, Neb., is in charge of the arrangements.