Bill Fowler died peacefully in his Anchorage home with his wife by his side last thursday afternoon. He’d recently been diagnosed with cancer and the disease progressed more rapidly than anyone expected. It was a sudden end to a life lived with great enthusiasm, compassion, and dignity. He will be missed.
Please join us if you are able to honor his life and our memories of him. A memorial shin dig will be held Wednesday 2 July 2008 at 3 pm in the Northern Air Maintenance Services hanger at 6601 South Airpark Place, Anchorage, Alaska.
If you have any questions or concerns, or just want to share your memories of this wonderful man, please contact Kevin Fowler: email: firstname.lastname@example.org IM: email@example.com (AIM) • firstname.lastname@example.org (google talk). telephone: (858) 752-7764.
Yours, in the bonds of friendship,
Kurtis, Kara, Kevin, and Keir
William Dix Fowler of Anchorage, Alaska passed away after a brief illness at his home overlooking Delong Lake.
Born January 29, 1940 in Glendale, California to Harold Dix and Bertha Graveling Fowler, “Bill” as he was known to everyone, spent his formative years in San Antonio, Texas where he attended Locke Hill Elementary School, graduating in 1958 from Northside High School. Throughout adolescence Bill and brother Geoff worked to support the family. Bill matriculated to Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, ultimately completing a graduate degree in accountancy.
Bill’s long career began in the 1960s. While working pipeline construction in the northern U.S. and Canada, Bill met his future wife Toni, and they began their long journey together. Bill later found work in Texas as an auditor with Humble Oil, now Exxon-Mobil, before returning to building pipelines with Coates Construction. With an eye towards the future of oil and gas development in the north, Bill moved to Alberta where his unmatched hardwork led to his rapid advancement and set the stage for his ultimate goal of working in Alaska.
Moving to Valdez in 1969, Bill became project manager for the unloading and transfer of pipe arriving from Japan to various stockpiles throughout the state. The delay of pipeline construction led Bill and the family to a brief sojourn in Alberta and Missouri until returning to Delta Junction in 1974 when work on the 800-mile line finally commenced. As Assistant Project Manager for Perini Arctic, Bill helped bring Section 2 of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline to successful completion.
Following completion of the pipeline Bill helped found Frank Moolin and Associates in Anchorage, undertaking preliminary gas pipeline planning, the construction of which seemed imminent.
Bill moved to Fairbanks in 1978 where he and his family would stay for the next 8 years. In Fairbanks Bill became president of Alaska International Construction, a small firm facing severe financial difficulties. Although dissolution of the company was initially anticipated, Bill instead engineered the resurrection of AIC. By the time of his departure in 1986, AIC was the leading construction company in the state of Alaska, and was widely recognized for its innovation and ability to successfully tackle the most difficult of construction projects.
After his remarkable achievements with AIC, Bill took on a variety of challenges throughout the 1990s, including directional drilling, environmental remediation, offshore construction, and telecommunication projects. Near the turn of the century Bill turned his attention again to building pipelines joining Okemah Construction in Oklahoma.
But Bill’s heart never left the land which he fell in love with many years previously, and in 2001 Bill returned to Alaska to become chief operating officer of Northern Air Cargo. During his tenure, Bill spearheaded the modernization of the NAC aircraft fleet and helped establish Northern Air Maintenance Services, which in cooperation with British Petroleum and Conoco Phillips, transports workers to the North Slope. Bill’s efforts led the company back to profitability, established a vision for future operations, and assured its future success through the acquisition of NAC by Saltchuk, Inc. Bill retired as Chief Executive Officer of Northern Air Cargo in March of this year.
Throughout his career, Bill devoted time and energy to improving the lives of others. Bill served as a mentor to many young individuals he encountered throughout his long career. His generosity to friends was limitless and without hesitation. Despite his extensive professional commitments, he also found time to contribute throughout the community including working with Junior Achievement, the Atheneum School in Anchorage, and as a Fellow of the University of Alaska.
Bill loved country and western music. As a teenager he played guitar, cut tracks with childhood friends and backed touring performers of the day, including Charlie Pride, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson. Bill nurtured a lifelong interest in aviation, including his beloved Cessna 180. He fancied himself a sportsman, taking his riverboat up the Salcha, Gulkana, and Goodpasture rivers. And of course, Bill was forever in search of the perfect Texas barbeque.
Bill leaves behind countless friends and associates. He was a giant in the Alaska business community not only because of his accomplishments, but for the honorable and evenhanded way he achieved them.
He is survived by his loving wife of forty-four years, Toni Fowler; four children — Kurtis of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Kara Vanhise of Casa Grande, Arizona, Kevin of San Diego, California, and Keir of Fairbanks; their respective spouses Orlando Gotay, Jeff Vanhise, Hope Johnson and Robin Fowler; four grandchildren: Tessa and Teagan Vanhise, and Sophia and Miles Fowler; his brother Geoffrey Fowler and wife Carolyn; nephew Darryl and wife Brandi Fowler of Los Angeles, California; nephew David Fowler and wife Camey of San Antonio.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Atheneum School at 1920 West Dimond, Anchorage, Alaska 99515.
A public memorial service will be held Wednesday 2 July 2008 at 3 pm in the Northern Air Maintenance Services hanger at 6601 South Airpark Place, Anchorage, Alaska. All are welcome to come and share their memories and feelings about Bill.