Roberta Ruth Fowler “Bobbie” passed away Dec. 16, 2015. She was born Sept. 22, 1924, to Laurence and Bertha Laursen in Arlington, Nebraska. She was the fourth of five children. After growing up in Nebraska, she married Julian Fowler during World War II. They had a son, Ronald, and lived in San Diego until the war was over. The subject of homesteading in Alaska was discussed and the Fowlers became enthused about the idea.
The small Fowler family of three set out for Alaska, and after experiencing their first harsh winter in Valdez, they started looking for a homestead site and decided on Shaw Creek, which is 80 miles south of Fairbanks. They had three more children: George, Julenne and Preston. The family gradually cleared the land, planted and harvested their crops, built a large barn and processing plant and successfully started Fowler’s Dairy Farm. Bobbie worked many hours in the processing plant, gardening, sewing, baking and raising four children and homeschooling them until there was a school built in Delta Junction.
After years of dedication and perseverance, the Fowlers were named the “Farm Family of the Nation” in 1973 and received the award from President Ford in Washington, D.C. Later, Bobbie and Julian retired from the dairy business and moved to New Mexico. Sadness entered her life in June 1983, when her son, Preston, drowned while dipnetting, and then six months later, her husband, Julian, died in a plane crash.
Bobbie loved spending time with her grandchildren. Since she always gave them cookies, she fondly became known as “Cookie Grandma,” a name she was called for the remainder of her life. She was best known for her cinnamon rolls, and she blessed the family with pans of sweet treats. Bobbie also loved knitting and crocheting. Her competitive side showed up when it was time to play dice or cards; she played to win. Bobbie moved back to Fairbanks in 2008 to be closer to her family. She spent many hours completing jigsaw puzzles with her friends at Raven’s Landing.
In her final three years, she was blessed to live at the Fairbanks Pioneers’ Home.
After 91 years on this earth, she was greeted in heaven by her husband, Julian; her son, Preston; her parents, and her siblings.
She is survived by her children, Ronald Fowler (Marsha), George Fowler (Barbara), Julenne Fowler-Walker (Miles), and daughter-in-law Judy Fowler-Morris (Dick); her grandchildren, Ronda Fowler (Theron Carter), Jessica Wyrosdick (Rodney), Adam Fowler (Petra), Keith Fowler (Laurie), Alice Fowler, Christi Taylor (Greg), Lisa Wilcox (Cory) and Andrew Fowler.
She also was blessed with 14 great-grandchildren, Cora, Cassie and Charley Wyrosdick, Mark and Michael Fowler, Jessica Pepper, Meghan, Ashleigh and Brendan Fowler, Jonathan, Cameron and Jorge Fowler and Matty and Holly Taylor.
The family would like to thank the staff at Raven Landing and the Fairbanks Pioneer’s Home for their care and support. There will be a celebration of her life this summer at the Fowler farm where her family will spread her ashes over the land she loved. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Fairbanks Pioneers’ Home.