Kenneth Allen Fowler, 68, Ft. Myers, FL, formerly of Schoolcraft, died August 9. He graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1967. He played many sports, but football was his favorite. After graduating, Ken attended a year of community college, and then enlisted with the Army Reserve in 1969 and was honorably discharged May 19, 1975. He purchased the Snow’s IGA store in Vicksburg and renamed the store Fowler’s Grocery. The previous owners, the Mattimores, were like family to Ken, and they served as a mentor to him. He sold Fowler’s grocery in 1985 and purchased the Tastee Freeze in Mendon that same year. He owned the Tastee Freeze for two years, and then sold it, and purchased a restaurant in Vicksburg in 1987 called Marjo’s. Eight years later he purchased a second restaurant in Schoolcraft and called it Marjo’s West. He sold both restaurants in 2005 and moved to Florida. Ken loved to watch his boys play football for the Schoolcraft Eagles, and although he was proud of all of his boys’ accomplishments, he was especially proud of the 1988 State Championship, when his son Adam played on the team. He organized many golf leagues, and for several years held a Fowler Open tournament. He is survived by his three children, Eric David Fowler, and Adam Scott Fowler (Tammie) of Schoolcraft, and Joshua Mark Fowler of Saginaw; and a sister, Suzie (Dennis) Fitzgibbon of South Haven. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren, a great grandchild and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his mother and stepfather, Dorothy June (Karl) Smith, and his father, Brenton Dodge Fowler; and a brother, Brenton Donald Fowler. Donations may go to Schoolcraft Eagles Football Fund.
Bernadine “Sally” I. Inman, 94, Vicksburg, passed away October 11. Sally was born March 9, 1924 in Kalamazoo, the daughter of James and Neta (Smith) Mears. She is described as strong-willed, a little feisty, and very independent. Sally enjoyed her walks and was known for walking six miles a day. Sally is survived by sons, George (Juanita) Inman, of Vicksburg; Marvin (Linda) Inman, of Vicksburg; Rich (Myra) Inman, of Vicksburg; four grandchildren and many great grandchildren. She is also survived by her two sisters, Bid Erskine, of Schoolcraft and Midge (Skip) Engelman, of Portage. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Katherine Cook; brothers James “Dune” Mears, Justin “Sonny” Mears, and William “Big Bill” Mears and her longtime special friend, DeVerne Wallace. Visit Sally’s page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to South County Community Services.
Phillip R. Mott, 82, Vicksburg, passed away Oct. 3. He was born to Harry and Jessie (Dalton) Mott on September 5, 1936 in Dowagiac. His father gathered holly in the wild and would be considered to be a wholesale florist in today’s world. Phil started off working at service stations and in auto repair at a young age, continuing in that field until 1990. As a young man, he was in the Air National Guard for six years. In the early 70s Phil began learning to cultivate his own variety of holly in addition to working at the gas stations. In 1990, Phil went back full time to his family roots and into the nursery business. He and wife, Mardee, became the first holly cultivators in the country for Michigan winterberry. They went on to become the largest grower of Michigan winterberry in North America. The family Christmas Barn and tree farm were also well known among families in southwest Michigan. He flew both planes and helicopters, was a deer hunter, and an avid sports fisherman. He also owned a sprint car and enjoyed watching races. Phil is survived by his wife, Mardee; children, Michelle Mott, of Portage and Michael (Kathleen) Mott, of Kalamazoo; a sister, Janet Knox, of Indiana; and several nieces and nephews. Phil was preceded in death by five siblings. Visit Phil’s page at mccowensecord.com. Donations may go to the West Michigan Cancer Center and American Red Cross.
Jack L. Wiley, 66, Vicksburg, passed away September 27. He was born to Artemus “Art” and Bettie Wiley on February 5, 1952. As a student at Vicksburg High School, he was a state champion wrestler in 1969 and 1970. He was inducted into the Vicksburg High School Sports Hall of Fame. Jack started in excavating right out of high school when his first project was excavating the last nine holes at Olde Mill Golf Course in Schoolcraft. In 1983, Jack started his own business. His last project before retiring after 21 years was Angels Crossing Golf Course in Vicksburg. Jack also used his excavating background to work maintaining the grounds at the Vicksburg Cemetery and Schoolcraft Cemetery for Schoolcraft Township. Over the years, many families were comforted by seeing him at services for family members and knowing he was taking care of burying their loved one. Jack was involved in the St. Joseph County Fair for 31 years. He also volunteered for the Vicksburg Ambulance service in the early to mid-eighties. He is survived by his wife, Julie; children Jack Jr. (Joanne) Wiley, of Vicksburg and Kris (Jamie) Barga, of Vicksburg; grandchildren Michael, John, Dustin, Ally and Torie. Jack is also survived by siblings Jean Stinson, of Decatur; Steve (Penny) Wiley, of Marcellus, and several nephews. Visit Jack’s page at mccowensecord.com.