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February 19, 2013

Joseph C. Fowler Jr.

WEST LAFAYETTE — Joseph Campbell Fowler Jr., also known as Fenix Fowler, 65, West Lafayette, formerly Delphi and Logansport, passed away at 2:58 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, at his home while surrounded by his family.

Joseph was born on Nov. 5, 1947, to Joseph C. Fowler and Joyce Lanier (Jordan) Fowler, in Lafayette. His father precedes him in death.

Joseph was the great-great-great-grandson of famed Hoosier industrialist, Moses Fowler. Moses was a larger-than-life figure involved with farming, banking, river trade and local and regional politics. He was a pivotal figure in the growth and histories of Lafayette, Purdue, Fowler and central Indiana. Joseph shared Moses’ business acumen and distinctive Fowler features.

Joseph grew up in Delphi, where he attended the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and was an Altar Boy; he attended St. Joseph’s Catholic School and Culver Military Academy and graduated from Delphi High School in 1966. Joseph also was a local little leaguer and starred in a high school production of Agamemnon. It was during this time; Joseph met the love of his life, Malinda Ayres. They would be part of each other’s lives for 46 years.

After briefly attending Indiana University, Joseph joined the United States Army and served 1967-1970 with a tour in Vietnam, 1969-1970. After serving, Joseph moved around and discovered many things within him before returning to Delphi in 1973; where he went to work for the William Bradshaw Insurance Agency. On Sept. 7, 1974, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Delphi, he was married by Father Ambrose Ziegler to Malinda Grace Ayres, Flora.

In 1982, he struck out on his own and formed Fowler Insurance, Inc. and Fowler Enterprise. As a businessman, Joseph was a committed advocate and builder of his community; he was the president of the board of directors at the Logansport Family YMCA. Where he raised many funds and spearheaded the construction of the racquetball courts. Joseph owned many rental properties in Logansport through Fowler Enterprise Properties. His business interests spread throughout the Midwest and he became known as a fair and hardworking man; he was also known as an innovative leader, being one of the first in Logansport to modernize his company with computers, a redesigned modern office and sales teams. In 1987, Joseph formed Consolidated Union; then in 1989, he combined Consolidated Union with three other insurance agencies in the area. In March of 1991, due to health concerns, Joseph retired and the company seamlessly transferred ownership to Tim E. Herd and Timothy J. Konich.

Joseph was a life-long athlete; he excelled at racquetball and in 1983, was the Indiana State YMCA Champion. He routinely defeated men 10-15 years younger than him. He had a strict exercise routine he followed most of his life. He delighted his daughters by lifting them over his head, one in each arm.

Joseph had many other hobbies and pursuits; he collected unique cars and loved Mercedes-Benz, Jaguars and MGs. He was a movie aficionado; with a special interest in noir and crime films, he saw thousands of movies and shared this hobby with his son. Joseph was also a fine art collector, finding pieces all over the country to fit his unique style. Joseph loved electronics and always knew how technology would change the world. He was a skilled card player who excelled at all variations of poker and games like gin rummy and few could challenge him at the pool table, a skill that he indulged in halls throughout the country.

Joseph was moved to be a mentor by his experiences with his father-in-law, Tom S. Ayres and Grandfather, J. Lanier Jordan; their influences on his life cannot be measured. Which led Joseph to mentor young men and women in the business community; he loved sharing knowledge and experience with those who sought it.

He was also a devoted father to his two daughters and son. He was always there to assist them in whatever task was ahead of them.

Joseph loved only one woman, Malinda Ayres and he had loved her since he was a boy.

Joseph is survived by his wife, Malinda, West Lafayette; two daughters, Amelia Ayres Fowler, West Lafayette, Adrienne Bienvenu Fowler, Marblehead, Mass., and a son, Joseph Campbell Fowler III, Lafayette. He is also survived by three grandchildren; Ethan James Fowler and Grace Adrienne Fultz, both of West Lafayette, and Delilah Rose Michalowski, Marblehead, Mass. Also surviving him is his beloved dog, Anais and his mother; two sisters, Louise and Cecilia Fowler; and three nieces and two nephews in Texas.

Joseph was preceded in death by his father, Joseph Campbell Fowler and his beloved dogs, Wags, Cosmo, Valentine and Colette.

The Fowler family would like to extend special thanks to individuals who had an impact on Joseph’s life and when they spoke, he was silent. Tom S. Ayres, J. Lanier Jordan, Father Ambrose Ziegler, James Jones, Brian Messer of Lafayette’s Sound Advice, Mark and John Layton, Dr. Naga Chalasani of IU and Dr. Carolyn Kochert.

There will be a Funeral Mass at 2 p.m. Saturday at St. Mary’s Cathedral, 1207 Columbia St., Lafayette, Ind., with Father Ziegler officiating. Afterwards, there will be a Wake, immediately following, Saturday at the Historic Fowler House, corner of 10th and South streets, Lafayette, Ind., for family and all who knew him. All are welcome.

In lieu of flowers, please feel free to make donations to the Wounded Warrior Project, the Indiana Veteran’s Home in West Lafayette and the Purdue University School of Veterinary Science.

Hippensteel Funeral Home entrusted with care.

Share memories and condolences online at www.hippensteelfuneralservice.com.

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