William “Bill” Newton Fowler, Sr.

March 12, 1928 - March 18, 2024

03/12/1928 - 03/18/2024

Past Services

Sunday March 24, 2024
12:45 pm - 1:45 pm
Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service of Ahoskie
205 NC Highway 42 W
Ahoskie, NC 27910
252-332-3122 | Directions
Funeral Service
Sunday March 24, 2024
2:00 pm
Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service of Ahoskie
205 NC Highway 42 W
Ahoskie, NC 27910
252-332-3122 | Directions
Sunday March 24, 2024
3:00 pm
Hillcrest Cemetery
2517 NC Highway 45 N
Colerain, NC 27924

COLERAIN, NC – William “Bill” Newton Fowler, Sr. passed away peacefully on March 18, 2024, at the age of 96.  He was born on March 12, 1928, in Charlotte, North Carolina to John Henry Fowler, Sr. and Ethel Nancy Whitaker Fowler. He had two sisters, Dorothy and Betty Jean, and three brothers, Holbert, Furman, and John Henry Fowler, Jr.

After graduating from Charlotte Central High School, Bill attended N.C. State University on a baseball scholarship. He was the captain of the baseball team for two years, and he earned his bachelor’s degree in math education. During his time as a student at N.C. State, Bill played semi-professional baseball for Colerain in the Albemarle League in the summers of 1947, 1948, and 1949.

Bill took ROTC training for four years in college, and he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. From 1952 to 1953, Bill served as a first lieutenant in the Korean War (U.S. Army, 25th Infantry Division, Quartermaster Company). He was awarded the Bronze Star, the Korean War Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the United Nations Service Medal. Before and after his military service, he played professional baseball for Raleigh and Fayetteville in the Carolina League.

Bill married Hazel Montague Sessoms in September 1953. They were married until Hazel’s death in 2010. Bill and Hazel loved celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas, and birthdays with their children and grandchildren. At his family birthday parties, Bill always looked forward to eating several slices of the yellow cake with chocolate icing that Hazel made for him each year. Bill and Hazel enjoyed taking their children on yearly trips around the United States. One of their most memorable trips was to Yellowstone National Park.

After getting married, Bill earned a master’s degree and an advanced principal’s and superintendent’s degree from East Carolina University. He went on to receive a doctorate in education. At the beginning of his teaching career, Bill taught at Colerain High School for five years. He was the principal of Harrellsville High School for two years, and he served as the principal of Colerain Elementary School for twelve years. Before his retirement, he was the principal of Colerain and West Colerain Elementary Schools for sixteen years.

Bill was an active member of the Colerain United Methodist Church. He served as the chairman of the administrative council, and he was the church lay leader and the superintendent of the Sunday school program.

Bill was a member of the Colerain Lion’s Club, and he served on the Colerain Town Council. He was a director of the Cashie Golf and Country Club. In 1978, he organized Colerain’s first tennis tournament.

Bill’s family will remember him as an engaging storyteller who loved to tell exciting and humorous stories from his past. He loved making his grandchildren laugh. He particularly enjoyed telling stories of his trip to New York City in 1946, where he represented North and South Carolina in the “Brooklyn Against the World” baseball series and met the cast of “Oklahoma” on Broadway.

In his later years, Bill particularly enjoyed tennis and woodworking. He participated in tennis tournaments at the Senior Games, and he built beautiful birdhouses, picnic tables, and toy chests for his children and grandchildren. He was especially proud to have built a two-story garage.

On a family trip with Carla in 2011, Bill was elated to fulfill a lifelong dream of walking across the Golden Gate Bridge. He always said that he wanted to walk across the bridge that he first went under on a boat on the way to serve in Korea.

Bill is survived by his children, William Newton Fowler, Jr. (Rachelle “Shelley”) of Greenville, NC and Carla Fowler Gibbons (Bruce) of Apex, NC. He is also survived by four grandchildren, Emily Fowler, Brittany Claire Fowler, Bryan Gibbons, and Rachel Gibbons.

The family would like to thank the countless loved ones, friends, neighbors, healthcare workers, and all those who helped Bill throughout his life and in his later years.

The funeral will be held at 2 p.m. on March 24, 2024, at Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service, 205 NC Highway 42 West, Ahoskie, NC 27910. Visitation will be held before the funeral from 12:45 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. After the funeral, burial will take place at Hillcrest Cemetery in Colerain.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Bill’s memory to the Colerain Volunteer Fire Department, PO Box 247, Colerain, NC 27924, or you may donate online by clicking here

“For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down, we will have a house in Heaven, an eternal body made for us by God Himself and not by human hands.” 2 Corinthians 5:1

Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service of Ahoskie is serving the Fowler family and online condolences can be directed to them by visiting www.garrettsykesfs.com.

The service will be livestreamed and will begin a few minutes before the service hour. If there is any technical difficulties, the service will be upload to this page following the live service.  

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Jill Perru
19 days ago

Our family extends our sincerest condolences to you, Billy and Shelley, Carla and Bruce and all of your family. I have just learned of Dr Fowler’s passing and I extend much love and comfort to all of you. I have you on my heart and in my thoughts and prayers.
Jill Tadlock Perry and family

19 days ago

Mr Fowler was a excellent principal and a very kind man. He was very easy to talk with but very serious about our education. I will never forget the lesson he taught . Most of all his kindness . Rest in peace My Fowler we truly appreciate you

Wadnesha Cherry
20 days ago

Mr. Fowler, my principal from 1st to 8th grade, left an indelible mark on my life. His guidance and support, especially with my locker and books, will always be cherished. I never knew about his impressive background as a pro baseball player or his service during the Korean War. May he rest in peace. My thoughts and prayers are extended to his family.

Patti Cook
20 days ago

Carla, your Dad sounds like an amazing man who lived a life of giving to others. May the memories of good times together bring you comfort. I’m sure he is smiling spending time with your Mom and being welcomed home to be with his savior. May he rest in peace in his heavenly home.
Patti and Floyd

Glenda Stanley
21 days ago

Sending my heartfelt condolences and prayers to the family of the beloved principal Mr. Fowler . Gone but never forgotten.

Crystal Reid
22 days ago

Prayers and condolences to the family, he was a very sweet man he was my principal in colerain elementary and everytime I would ride to colerain I would look over at that big ole house and think about him, rest in peace Mr Fowler

Sharon Cherry Morning
22 days ago

Sending condolences to the family

Gloria Jones
22 days ago

My condolences to his family and friends. Mr. Fowler, the best that ever served in that position- principal of Colerain Elementary School. Fair, genuine, caring, disciplinarian, involved leader. May he rest in peace. His legacy will never be forgotten. ?

Daryl Wilson
22 days ago

Dr Fowler (as he suggested I referred to him) was a true treasure. He was my principal at Colerain Elementary and I’ll never forget how patient and kind he was to us all. I’ll also never forget when his patience was expended and he resorted to the paddle LOL… The good old days right?

Rest Well Dr., You’ve earned it my friend.

To the family, you all are in my Prayers. God Bless

Jennifer C. Stephenson
23 days ago

Mr. Fowler was the principal during my years at Colerain Elementary School. He was such a wonderful person and I always enjoyed seeing him in later years. You all are in my thoughts and prayers!