Richard Weston Fowler
- Published: March 26, 2015
Richard Weston Fowler, longtime teacher at West Carrollton Senior High School, passed away at his home on Saturday, March 14, 2015.
Born Jan. 4, 1934 in Cleveland, Ohio, he was the son of the late Richard Paul and Eloise (Weston) Fowler. The second of two children, he is survived by his sister Laurene (the late Vincent) Young, of Sheffield Village, Ohio.
Richard followed his father both in graduating from Ohio State University and playing trombone in the OSU marching band (his father performed with the band during the first game ever played at the Horseshoe). But he took a detour into the military after flunking out of college his freshman year because of poor study habits and too much extracurricular activity. This included the marching band, the old Heidelberg tavern and meeting Shirley Liebherr, his future wife.
First enlisted with the Air Force, one night he laid out his uniform only to have his prankster cousin, Bill, in the same unit, substitute a blazing crimson necktie for his blue one. Inspection the following morning resulted in his removal from the Air Force for being colorblind, but Richard promptly joined the Army, “where they weren’t so damned picky,” and was eventually stationed at Fort Lee, Va. Toward the end of his enlistment he married Shirley (by then graduated and teaching school), and returned to Ohio State under the G.I. Bill with his new wife and new self-discipline. Their 22-year marriage produced four children: Richard (Columbus), Lance (Kettering), Linda (Madeira) and Neil (The Plains, Ohio).
Richard loved teaching and also science and technology, and usually had a foot in each during his career. After graduating he taught in the Madison, Ohio, schools two separate times, with a job at RCA in Cambridge working on the Minuteman Missile program in between. Moving to West Carrollton to accept employment with the R.L. Drake Company of Miamisburg, a manufacturer of high-quality amateur radio gear, he found his way to the West Carrollton City Schools and soon became a popular teacher of physics, geometry and related subjects. He combined an enthusiasm for teaching with patience and sympathy for those to whom learning came hard. His classes in Room 222 produced a wealth of fond memories for his students; alumni have for over three decades gathered at his home between Christmas and New Year’s Eve for an annual “222 Party.”
During the summers and in retirement, Richard worked a wide range of jobs. With his wife, Shirley, he operated a concession stand on Lake Erie. He worked for Buckeye Oil Equipment, a Dayton firm converting filling stations to self-service in the late 1970s and ’80s. He drove a hearse for an area funeral home, repaired audio-visual equipment for the West Carrollton schools, was a parole officer for the Miamisburg municipal courts and did retail work at Radio Shack and P-K Home Center; he was interested in any pursuit that would bring him into contact with people. Still the science-minded educator, he hosted the “Science Thursday” radio program on station WYSO in Yellow Springs from 2005 until a partial stroke in 2011.
Besides his first wife and children, Richard is survived by granddaughters Krystal (Chris) Restaino and Tiffany Fowler; great-grandchildren Braden and Brooklyn Creech; nephew Edward Young and daughter-in-law Linda (Neil) Fowler. Richard is also survived by his second ex-wife Barbara Dippel of Las Vegas, Nev., and special friend Charlene Floyd of Washington Township. A kind man, a good provider, a lover of music and a storehouse of knowledge in many fields, Richard’s wish to be cremated has been carried out and his ashes will be spread at a later date at the Marquand Mills Cemetery in Linton Township, Coshocton County, Ohio. A memorial service in his honor will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 28, at the Yellow Springs Unitarian Fellowship meeting house, located at 2884 U.S. Route 68, south of Yellow Springs.