FOWLER, JOHN MITCHELL, JR., born June 15, 1931, passed away July 17, 2013. The funeral will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 21, 2013 at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Vestavia Hills, AL, preceded by a viewing at 1 p.m. The committal service and burial will begin at 2:45 p.m. on Monday, July 22, 2013 at Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo.
John is survived by his loving wife, Beulah, whose arms he was in when he died; sons, Mitch and Shaw; brother, Porter; and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews.
Born to Evelyn and John Fowler, Sr., John was a true son of Alabama, having lived here all his life. He grew up in Mobile and Bessemer, lived in Athens, Decatur, and Birmingham, and finished his life in Vestavia Hills. He graduated from Bessemer High School, and subsequently received undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate degrees from the University of Alabama. He was a U.S. Navy Veteran of the Korean War.
A lover of life, family, and music, John was a very successful educator, with a specialty in choral music. He began his teaching career at Minor High School, then worked with the Title III Honors Program for Jefferson County schools. He became Chairman of the Music Department at Athens College, where he also gave several vocal performances and recitals. From there, he moved back to Birmingham as the Director of Fine Arts for the Jefferson County Board of Education, during which time he won numerous awards, including the Governor's Arts Award in 1982. He retired in 1993.
Also a local actor, some theater productions which John enjoyed and was known for include "The Drunkard," "A Christmas Carol," "The King and I," and various others.
John was an active runner and hiker, having run numerous marathons including Boston, Marine Corps, Huntsville, Vulcan, and the Bay to Breakers Run. He founded the High Note Run, an annual 10K race which donated all proceeds to local fine arts programs. He was a member of the Hole in One Hikers.
John had a passion for cars, as well as a razor sharp wit and sense of humor. Filled with the spirit of Christ, John was involved in the church all his life. He especially enjoyed singing in the choir and his daily study of the Bible. Also interested in genealogy, John traced his family's path all the way back to the 1700s. Noted for his random acts of generosity, neighbors knew him as "that running man" who threw their newspapers up to their porches as he ran his daily route.
John was loved. He is missed. He will be remembered.