Frederick's Story

MILLINOCKET - Frederick Charles Fowler, 91, died May 14, 2016, at his home in Millinocket. He was born May 16, 1924 in Norcross the fifth child and third son of Albert F. and Kate Jones Fowler.

He grew up in Norcross and completed elementary education at Norcross Grammar School. His secondary schooling was at Schenck High School in East Millinocket, graduating in 1942. He worked for the G.N.P. Co. on the lakes and in the woods until March 4, 1943 when he entered active service with the U.S. Army. His unit, the 3062nd Q.M. Bakery Co., joined the 12th Corps of Patton's 3rd Army in late July '44, supporting the drive to Brest, then across France to Bastogne. His unit was then transferred to the 8th Corps of the 1st Army, where it was caught up in the "Battle of the Bulge", suffering losses in men and equipment. After moving back to Luxembourg his unit was reassigned back to the 3rd Army, serving on the Moselle River, then across Germany to the Czech border and V-E Day. Serving 34 months in the European Theater, he earned four campaign stars for Northern France, The Ardennes, The Rhinland, and Central Europe. Returning to Norcross he relaxed until spring and then went back to work for the Spruce Wood Dept. of G.N.P on the lakes. He attended U. of Maine 46/47 and Ricker College 47/48, and returned to work for the Spruce Wood Dept. He married Pauline Yeo in April, 1950. Living in Norcross he continued working on the lakes until March, 1951 when he went to work as a technical assistant in the Bureau of Tests, G.N.P.. He transferred to the Millinocket Mill in 1952 as a supervisory trainee in the Sulphite Dept. Fred and Pauline continued to live in Norcross until 1954, when they moved to Millinocket. A son Fred Jr was born in 1955 and a daughter Betsy Susan was born in 1959. They constructed a new home in Millinocket 1961-62. He worked his way up the supervisory ranks at G.N.P, holding the position of Pulp Mill Superintendent from 1973 until his retirement in 1985. Fred was highly-regarded; many GNP employees viewed him as the best boss they ever had. Fred was a member of First Congregational Church of Millinocket where he served as Chair of the Trustees; a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars; and a long time trail maintainer with the Maine Appalachian Trail Club. Upon his retirement from the Great Northern, he launched into a life of volunteering and projects. He and his good friend, the late Dr. Peter Mason, created and maintained a cross-country ski trail network in the Millinocket area, a significant portion of which is now part of the recently-established multi-purpose trail. He continued his weekend MSGA golf outings. He developed an interest in the UMaine women's basketball program and attended many of their home games at Orono. A major post-retirement project was his "50-cent Camp" on family land in Norcross at the foot of North Twin Lake. He built it almost entirely with 19th century vintage hand tools, many of which came from his father and the Norcross Transportation Company. After establishing an agreement with Great Northern Paper Company, he cut and peeled his own cedar logs, created a boom to haul them down North Twin Lake to his lot, and sawed and notched them to create his beautiful camp. Fred was a talented man whose goodness and integrity were exceeded only by his humility and grace. An exceptional photographer, an interest he inherited from his father, he developed his own photographs, many of which he mounted, matted, framed, and gave as gifts. The love and interest he had for his entire family was exceptional, and they loved him immensely in return. His work in preserving and promoting the family heritage and the story of the little village of Norcross culminated in the creation of The Norcross Heritage Trust. Fred continually helped in the NHT work; in fact, he provided assistance just a few days before his death.

Fred was predeceased by his parents Albert F. and Kate Jones Fowler; older brothers John and George; older sisters Helen Byther and Evelyn Larlee, and his wife Pauline. He is survived by his younger sister, Charlotte Thaxter of Millinocket, son Fred Jr. of Millinocket, daughter Betsy Letourneau of Largo, Fl.; grandson, Brad Vertescher, grandson, Josh Vertescher and his daughter, Allison Vertescher all of Fl.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

I would like to thank the good people at the Katahdin Area Support Group for the loan of equipment; the home health/hospice care he received from the visiting nurses and care aides of Community Health and Counseling Services, with whose assistance he was able to live at home until his passing; the Millinocket EMT's and police who provided lift assistance on numerous occasions; his niece Nancy, who provided help when asked and finally the three NHT trustees, nephews Albert, Geo and Tom whose meetings and work sessions at Fred's home brightened his last years.

An internment ceremony will be held at the Millinocket Cemetery on June 20 at 11 AM. In lieu of flowers family members can make a donation to the NHT. All others can make a gift in Fred's name to the Katahdin Area Support Group, P.O. Box 374, Millinocket, ME 04462. Messages of condolence may be expressed at www.lamsonfh.com.
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