Geoffrey G. Fowler, 73, of Boerne, Texas, died on March 14, 2013. His extensive 44 year career as a petroleum engineer and project manager yielded many important civic projects, took him around the world, and was only eclipsed by his love for his family and his many friends.
Born an identical twin on January 29, 1940, in Glendale, California to Harold Dix and Bertha Graveling Fowler, Geoff and his brother Bill - with whom he was inseparable - spent their formative years in San Antonio, Texas, attending Locke Hill Elementary and graduating from Northside High School in 1958. Fowler went on to graduate with a B.S. in Petroleum & Natural Gas Engineering from Texas A&I (now Texas A&M) University, where he met his future wife, Carolyn, to whom he was married for 49 years.
Fowler started his career working as a district engineer in 1964 for Mobil Oil Company in South Texas and quickly rose through the ranks. His hard work resulted in being recruited by Exxon USA as they were gearing up to build the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. As young boys, Fowler and his brother saw pictures of Alaska in LIFE magazine and declared their desire to be a part of that vast, wild frontier. By 1972, that dream had become a reality for both of them. Fowler moved his family from Houston, Texas to settle in Anchorage, Alaska, with stops in San Fransisco and Seattle along the way as he worked on the various planning stages. His most impactful role was serving as the Senior Project Manager for the construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline "Haul Road" North of the Yukon River, long considered before its completion to be an impossible task because of the challenging terrain. The Chevrolet Suburban he drove along that road was the first passenger car to travel the stretch and is still on display at the Museum of Alaska Transportation & Industry in Wasilla, Alaska. Fowler was always very humble of his many achievements, but his pride from his contribution to the development and construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and the Prudhoe Bay oil production facilities was evident in his animated expression whenever he spoke about it. Although he grew up in Texas, he considered himself an Alaskan and his love for the 49th state was undeniable.
After the pipeline was completed, Fowler went on to become President of Frank Moolin & Associates and later with his partner, Peter White, co-founded Pacific Management & Engineering Corporation. Both firms managed the construction of numerous industrial and civic projects throughout Alaska. Never satisfied with resting on his achievements, Fowler launched into the telecommunications frontier and oversaw the construction of the NorthStar Network, connecting Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. A problem solver by trade, Fowler brokered a historic partnership between governmental agencies, commercial fishermen, environmental groups, and multinational corporate giants, culminating in the creation of the Oregon Fishermen's Undersea Cable Committee, one of his many crowning achievements.
Fowler battled diabetes for years, ultimately leading to kidney failure in 2003 and the search for a kidney donor. Fowler's wife Carolyn, a serendipitous match, gave him his first donor kidney. Knowing how precious life is, Fowler and his wife returned to his home town of San Antonio, Texas in 2004 to be closer to family and friends. Fowler remained active with friends and classmates and cherished his return to the Lone Star state, but as years passed, his donor kidney deteriorated, leaving him needing a new kidney. One Sunday, Fowler's wife called on the church to pray that a new donor would cross his path. Prayers were answered by the end of service as Dr. Jodi Spoor, principal of Champion High School in Boerne, Texas and also a member of Fowler's church, felt compelled and approached Fowler, saying to him, "I am your new kidney." Tears rolled down Fowler's cheeks as a new and endearing friendship began. On July 2, 2010, at the Methodist Transplant & Specialty Hospital in San Antonio, Dr. Jodi Spoor's selfless act gave Fowler's family and friends an additional three years with him, as her donor kidney never faltered. Unfortunately, Fowler was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension in 2011, a condition for which there is no cure. The Fowler family extends their eternal gratitude to Dr. Jodi Spoor and her family, and the Caring Voice Coalition for their loving support.
Twice given the gift of life, Fowler considered himself richly blessed and remained active with his family, friends, and classmates. A former bass player in his youth with George Chambers and the Country Gentlemen, he had a passion for Country & Western music and would often be seen at Grady's BBQ in San Antonio, watching his friends perform. He was a pilot, an avid cook, and a talented 'weekend' carpenter. Generous to a fault, he loved to mentor and advise anyone who would ask and will be dearly missed by all who knew him.
Fowler was preceded in death by his brother Bill and is survived by Carolyn, his beloved wife of 49 years, sons Darryl and David, daughters in law Jennifer and Camey, granddaughters Mylina, Daria and Francesca, grandsons Josh and Joey, nephews Kurtis, Kevin, and Keir, and niece Kara, and newly found cousin, Robert Meyer and wife, Monika.
A memorial service will be held at First United Methodist Church - Boerne at 12:00 pm, Friday, April 5th, (205 James Street, Boerne, TX 78006). In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to one of Fowler's favorite charities, the Gary Sinise Foundation. www.garysinisefoundation.org/about/mission