Remembering Larry Fowler

The Rose Hill community and Fairfax County lost an extraordinary public servant on April 10, 2009 with the death of Larry Fowler, our neighbor on Maryview Street. He was 87.

It wasn’t on the front page or on radio or television. Larry would have liked it that way. It’s up to those of us who knew Larry to remember his accomplishments that benefited everyone he served.

A World War II veteran, Larry served his country and his community for a half century. He joined the Navy early in the War and then served the Navy when hostilities ceased, racking up 50 years of service. During all the time, he raised a family and volunteered his time to help make our community a better place in which to live.

In fact, Larry set such a high standard that Fairfax County established an award in his honor. The Lawrence V. Fowler Award recognizes distinguished service of a longstanding member of a Fairfax County board, authority, commission or committee.

In 1964, he was appointed to the Public Facilities Commission, now known as the Consumer Protection Commission, by then first-term Lee District Supervisor Joe Alexander, who went on to serve eight four-year terms. Larry outlasted Joe, serving 41 years on the Commission, including 12 as chairman. “He was an outstanding member and really represented the citizen’s interest on the commission.” Alexander said. “The community will really miss him”.

Dana Kauffman, Joe’s successor, introduced a Resolution of appreciation adopted by the Board on January 23, 2006. Larry had just stepped down from his role on the commission because of poor health. “So many things we take for granted are traceable to his years of involvement,” Kauffman said. “He will be greatly missed but the example he set will endure.”

The resolution cited Larry for initiating the Speakers Outreach Program, conducting consumer education programs for residents, and representing consumers before the U.S. House of Representatives, the Virginia State Corporation Commission and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

Larry married Jane Elizabeth Adams in Baltimore on October 19, 1943. They had three children, Kathy born October 15, 1944, Cindy born April 9, 1947 and Larry Jr., both January 8, 1953. The elder Flower worked as a facilities specialist for the Navy after the war, traveling the work to make sure all of the nation’s submarines were seaworthy.

In June of 1955, the Fowler clan moved into a new brick home in Virginia Hills. Larry immediately became involved in the new community, serving as president of the civic association, organizing a teen club and coaching youth sports teams. He and the Teen Club pitched in for the annual work days to get the Virginia Hills pool ready for summer.

The Fowlers moved into a new section of larger homes in Rose Hill in 1967. Larry continued his association with civic affairs in the new community, served on the Neighborhood Watch and delivered The Rambler to his neighbors. Jane and Larry made sure their home was kept in such excellent shape that it was a shoo-in for yearly honors as a Rose Hill Beauty, the award given to homes in the community that are maintained in excellent shape.

In his spare time, Larry enjoyed bowling, collecting coins and searching for arrowheads with his metal detector. He also wrote poetry, including a moving tribute to the nurses at Mount Vernon Hospital after he was a patient there in 1978.

And, if all that wasn’t enough, he served on the building and grounds committee at his beloved Virginia Hills Baptist Church just across Telegraph Road from Rose Hill next to Lee District Park.   

Farewell, our good and faithful servant!

Carl Sell, President
Rose Hill Civic Association

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