Many gardeners are anticipating the beginning of
the growing season.
Spring is here, and the tiller is being greased,
primed, and prepped. Fresh soil is being turned over for planting and
As the gardens are being prepared, I have found
that Calhoun County is a rich bed of more than tomatoes, peppers, and
watermelon; it has also produced some of the most wonderful citizens.
One such citizen is Glen Fowler, who was born on
the waters of Phillips Run, near Grantsville, in 1922. He was the fifth
born in a family of 11 children.
He remembers attending the Stevens schoolhouse for
his early education. Children would walk to school in all types of
conditions: snow, freezing temperatures, and sultry heat.
After his primary years, he participated in
basketball and football at Calhoun County High School. During his senior
year, he scored 90 points on 15 touchdowns.
Fowler was also valedictorian of the Class of 1941
and continued his education at Bethany College in 1941-42.
Nearly age 21, he was working in Washington D.C.,
and decided to enlist in the Naval Air Corp to become a pilot.
He went back to school, but this time the classroom
would be different. His lessons would be more than books and theory.
Knowing the cockpit of a plane and completing his first solo flight
would be tests with more than pass or fail grades.
In 1945, Glen became familiar with the planes he
would fly over the Pacific into enemy territory, including torpedo
bombers, the TBF (made by Grumman) and the TBM (made by Martin).
The TBF weighed 23,000 lbs. and stood 14-ft. high.
It could carry a 2,000-lb. torpedo or four 500-lb. bombs. It also had
eight rockets, four under each wing.
Fowler flew with Torpedo Squadron, Air Group 40,
off the deck of the USS Suwannee (CVE 27). The combat zone was between
Okinawa and Formosa.
The missions were to end the Japanese occupation of
a chain of islands in this region. The squadron bombed runways, air
traffic control towers, radio stations, and anything that was Japanese
military. The squadron was also responsible for protecting the American
Fowler protected and served the U.S. during a time
of desperate need.
Many years later, he clearly recalls the 1941
attack of Pearl Harbor, and he stood beside his fellow airmen to watch
the signing of the Peace Treaty aboard the USS Missouri in 1945.
During these historical years, he went from being a
student, to a graduate of the lessons of war.
Discharged in 1946, he returned to Calhoun, and
married his high school sweetheart, the former Dorothy D. Dye.
He began working at Calhoun County Bank as a
bookkeeper. During the next 40 years, he worked his way up as a teller,
assistant cashier, cashier, executive vice president, and director. He
retired in 1987.
Fowler’s faithfulness has reached beyond his
country and community to his church and family. He has been a dedicated
member of First Baptist Church, Grantsville, having served as treasurer,
member of the board of deacons, financial secretary, and Sunday School
He and Dorothy have been married for 62 years. They
have two children, Terry and Joyce; four grandchildren, Patrick, Julie,
Levi and Amy; and eight great-grandchildren, Tavia, Cassandra, Corey,
Trent, Ryder, Ariah, Cadence and Keaton.
Generations before us have set a rich and lush
ground for the community. Many have toiled to create the wonderful
attributes of the county.
Fowler is no stranger to hard work and dedication.
His 40-ft. by 80-ft. garden boasts of beauty each year, but the
gardening he has done is not just in the soil.
He has labored on the very foundation of the town
and county, and the residents have reaped the benefits of his service.
At the end of our time together, he said, “Our
community is whatever we make it.”
Glen Fowler has helped make this community a
fertile soil for our future to grow.