John Fowler

Published 1:49 pm Friday, January 26, 2024

John Fowler passed away on January 25, 2024 after listening to The Lincoln Highway with Barbara.  His favorite character was Billy.

John was born in Chicago on April 10, 1949, the son of Dr. John and Beatrice Fowler.  He grew up in Oak Park, Illinois among a great array of family and friends.  He lived a life with Barbara filled with joy, hiking, golf, travel, art, fine dining, politics and a career in sales. He was an avid photographer and exhibited in several venues.  A skilled investor, he was knowledgeable as well as lucky.  He enjoyed many friends in Illinois, Florida and North Carolina.  But mostly John enjoyed his dogs with Barbara.  To paraphrase Charles Frazier, they measured the joys and high points of their journey together by the life spans of a series of Golden Retrievers and one, just one, Alaskan Malamute.  In his retirement he could be found with a camera around his neck and his dog Charlie by his side.

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He is survived by his wife Barbara Oklesen whose life is so much better because of his love and sense of adventure.  He is also survived by by sisters Lynn Fowler and Barbara Meckeneck, sister in law Beth McCollum, brother in law William Oklesen, as well as their respective spouses, children and grandchildren.  The family offers a special thank you to Dennis.

John died in Tryon North Carolina, however in the fall of 1948 a photograph was taken of his mother Beatrice while pregnant with John at Pearson’s Falls in Tryon – a premonition of his later life in Tryon.

A celebration of life is not planned.  John’s life itself was an unparalleled celebration.

Offerings in memory of John may be directed to Conserving Carolina or any charity that does good work.

An online guest register is available at

McFarland Funeral Chapel
Tryon, NC