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Anne Slusser Fowler, 88, of Decatur passed away on November 16, 2023. Born in Lexington, Virginia, on April 19, 1935 to the late Stuart and Harry Slusser, she is survived by three sons, Lynn E. (Candace), Brian S. (Kelli), and Michael C., one daughter, Elizabeth Anne (Bethanne) Taylor, six grandchildren, Lauren Sharp Gavin (Dan), Rachael Mix (Taylor), Wilson Coe (Coe) Taylor and Camden Hardwick (Cam) Taylor, Harrison Ples Graham and Spencer Webb Graham, and four great grandchildren, Leona Park, Aubrey Mix, Karson Mix, and Piper Mix. Anne was also survived by her sister-in-law, Betty Slusser, and was predeceased by her husband of 64 years, Lynn C. Fowler, son, Christopher David, and brother, Harry (Sonny) Slusser.
Anne was a brilliant student. At age eighteen, she graduated from St. Mary’s Seminary Junior College in a program incorporating the last two years of high school and the first two years of college. She was also an ardent equestrian. Anne’s one trepidation about going away to college was that she couldn’t take her horse with her. Nevertheless, she did attend Duke, graduating in 1957. Anne remained an avid fan of Duke athletics, especially basketball, for the remainder of her life.
Anne’s first job after college was as a flight attendant for Southern Airways. She told great stories of flights into tiny mountainous airports and with rowdy passengers. Most importantly to her story, though, Southern based her in Atlanta, where she met the love of her life, Lynn. Despite Lynn’s taking her on a first date to eat chili dogs at The Varsity near Georgia Tech, they fell in love, were married in 1958, and remained together thereafter until Lynn’s death in May of this year. On their 50th wedding anniversary, they celebrated with their family with a lunch at The Varsity and a Duke-Georgia Tech football game.
Shortly after their marriage, Anne and Lynn had to contend with three young sons, with Lynn E., Brian and Mike born less than three years apart. They also had to deal with the realities of a rising corporate manager having to relocate to move up the ladder. In quick succession, they moved from Decatur, Georgia to Columbus, Georgia, then to Americus, Georgia and finally to Decatur, Alabama.
The family settled in Decatur, Alabama, and Anne quickly became a community leader. She was an officer in the Decatur Junior League and contributed treasured recipes to the famous “Cotton Country Cooking.” In the 1970s, she was a founding supporter of Parents and Children Together (“PACT”). She later was a Trustee and active fundraiser for the Decatur General Hospital Foundation. Of course, she took on many community responsibilities for which she received no fanfare.
After the birth of Bethanne in 1970 and understanding that they would have three children of college age by the end of the decade, Anne and Lynn realized that they needed to become a two-income family. Anne studied for and obtained her real estate license. It was a fortuitous event for the Fowler family, because Anne didn’t just provide a second income, she was so successful she changed the fortunes of the entire family.
Anne was often recognized by her peers, being named Realtor of the Year by the Morgan County Board of Realty several times. Colleagues described her as “life changing” and “a truly great mentor.”
Anne proved to be an incredibly shrewd businesswoman. In 1983, she and two friends and peers, Katie Harris and Jane Glover, started their own real estate brokerage, Fowler Harris Glover. It was a radical move, because few real estate professionals in Decatur at the time were women, and no women owned a brokerage. They had many doubters who they proved wrong when they became one of the most successful residential real estate brokerages in the entire region. Their trademark red triangle for sale sign was ubiquitous in front of houses throughout Decatur.
Anne’s business acumen continued through her retirement in 2008. She and her partners sold the brokerage and the office three months before the Lehman bankruptcy and the ensuing economic collapse.
Anne’s successful business career did not detract from her love for and attention to her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She cheered them on in every sporting event, participated in every school event and supported their other interests. She pushed them to give 100% to every effort but also was their biggest cheerleader when they didn’t win first prize. When the grandchildren and great grandchildren appeared on the scene, she delighted in being their Annie and loved nothing more than a visit from any one of them.
The family is so grateful to Jimmie Buford, Amy Buford, Quenterria Burrell, Wanda Burrell, Lexis Curtis, Missy Grant, Toni Holcombe, Deborah Denis King and Chatan Robinson, all of whom took such wonderful care of Anne for many years. Their loving and attentive care definitely contributed to her long life and gave all of the family more time to enjoy her wit and wisdom. The wonderful nurses at Hospice of the Valley also provided comfort and peace at the end of her life.
No services are scheduled at this time.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks you to contribute to your favorite Decatur cause.
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