Joseph James Fowler
July 5, 1935 - March 2, 2018
Written by his son - Brian Fowler
Joseph Fowler was born on July 5th 1935 to the proud parents of Margaret & Joseph L. Fowler of Providence, Massachusetts. Followed in birth with the addition of his two sisters, Pam and Gail, and brother Leo. Joe claims he was supposed to be a July 4th baby, but the fireworks scared him enough to wait until the 5th. Just before entering the 6th grade, Joe’s father accepted a job offer from a department store in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. His father would head the credit department at The MAY COMPANY store. The Fowler family moved to Parma, Ohio where Joe attended St. Charles and Saint Ignatius High School. Joe remembered always being called on to read aloud in class at St. Charles because of his unique Bostonian accent. Nicknamed “Boston Blackie” by then Pastor of St. Charles Father Monahan, whose love for dogs and that particular breed, thought the name went well with Joe’s jet black hair. It worked, the nickname caught on and was used by all his friends. They shortened it to “Blackie” by the time he entered high school.
Early on it was well known that Joe had a quick wit about him. Tiger Tuma (The GREAT Lawyer from Brecksville) and a friend of Joe’s, once told me that when all the young Iggy guys would be gathered around throwing barbs at each other, everyone knew better than to take aim at Blackie. No matter what grief you thought to throw Blackie’s way, you could expect to get something back from Joe ten fold. Not to mention a much louder laughter directed at you by the entire gang. One of Joe’s many gifts that he carried with him throughout his life was his sharp sense of humor that he could pull out and use in a moment’s notice.
One day while Joe was walking down Ridge Road with his buddies, a girl named Jean was walking towards them with a group of her friends. The story goes that as the two groups passed each other, both Joe and Jean turned around at the same time to stare at each other. Joe said to his friend Danny, “I think that’s the cute girl who just moved in behind me. I’d really like to meet her”. Jean remembers never having seen anyone more handsome than Joe. She was attracted to his big blue eyes, gorgeous long lashes and dark black hair. She once told her friend Eunice, “That’s the man I’m going to marry”. Fortunately for them, St. Charles had Sunday night dances where both attended and it was the beginning of their very long courtship. Joe and Jean married in November, 1956 and celebrated their 61st anniversary last year.
Joe’s dad wanted him to attend John Carroll University after high school, but Joe had other plans. He wanted to join the Army and see the world. Joe won. He claimed that his plan was to play a lot of cards, flunk out and call dad to bring him home. During that drive home from John Carroll he remembers his dad consoling him in the nicest way saying, “College isn’t for everyone Joe”. Neither was volunteering for the draft, but it was for Joe. He enlisted in the Army right away. Joe had his basic training in Fort Knox, Kentucky. He was then stationed at a military hospital in Stuttgart, Germany as a clerk of records. After his service in the Army, Joe took a job with the Chesapeake Rail Road headquartered at the Terminal Tower in downtown Cleveland. Joe was employed with them for 10 years until the company’s division moved to Baltimore. Wanting to stay in Northeast Ohio he answered a want ad for the Parma Police department. After passing the test and completing his training, he remained a patrolman for the City of Parma for the next 25 years. He retired in 1989 at the young age of 54.
Joe enjoyed his retirement years continuing to be a devout Catholic and member of the Divine Mercy Cenacle at Holy Family Parish. Joe always made you feel welcome and enjoyed gatherings with his family. He created countless memories of fun and laughter for the next 29 years.
Joe is survived by his wife, Jean Fowler, and their four children: LeeAnn Jindra (Dan), Karen Kavak (Mike), Brian Fowler (Holly), and Staci Brown (Scott). He has a total of 12 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. Joe was truly a blessed man in so many ways, who always gave of himself as a public servant to his country and the City of Parma. Joe was a loving husband to Jean. A caring father & grandfather to all of his children. A faithful servant to his savior Jesus Christ, who welcomed him with open arms on March 2, 2018.
We love you DAD! Always & Forever! Amen.
JOSEPH J. FOWLER age 82. Retired Police Officer, City of Parma. Beloved husband of Jean (nee Astalos). Loving father of Lee Ann Jindra (Daniel), Karen Kavak (Michael), Brian Fowler (Holly) and Staci Brown (Scott). Cherished grandfather of Daniel Jindra (Jessica), Steven Jindra (Virginia), Monica Horvath (Matthew), Catherine Solano (John), Jamie Nackowiz (Kevin), Craig Kavak (Tubga), Kelly Kavak, Jacob Fowler, Spencer O'Rourke, Ryan O'Rourke, Megan Brwon and Clara Brown. and great grandfather of Annalise Jindra, Alaina Jindra, Andrew Jindra, Dylan Nackowiz, Gabriella Solano, Gianna Solanoa nd Luke Horvath. Dear brother of Pamela Bernasek (Glenn), Gail Moore (Jim) and the late Leo Fowler. U.S. Army Veteran. Joe’s wishes were to remember him as he was, therefore, a Mass of Christian Burial, Holy Family Church, 7367 York Road, Parma, OH 44130 Monday March 5, 2018 at 11:30 AM. (PLEASE MEET AT THE CHURCH). Interment Holy Cross Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions suggested to the Seasons of Life Hospice, 9511 W. Pleasant Valley Road, Parma, OH 44130. Arrangements entrusted to the A. RIPEPI AND SONS FUNERAL HOME, 18149 BAGLEY ROAD (WEST OF I-71).
JINDRA – see FOWLER NOTICE
KAVAK – see FOWLER NOTICE