Lynn Curry Fowler, 90, of Decatur, passed away on May 17, 2023. Born in Fort Worth, Texas, on September 6, 1932 to the late Genevieve and Lynn A. Fowler, he is survived by his wife of 64 years, Anne, 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. Lynn was also survived by his sisters, Mary Kay Griffin and Ann Miles (Herb), and was predeceased by a son, Christopher David, sister, Flora Jane Parker, brother, Richard, and brothers in law, Gene Griffin and John Parker.
In his youth, Lynn and his family moved several times, from Fort Worth to San Antonio, Texas, Pierre, South Dakota, Chicago, Illinois and then Moultrie, Georgia. He took to Moultrie, starring in several sports at Moultrie High School, including football, and he set passing records as the Packers’ quarterback that stood for over 20 years. He was inducted into the Colquitt County, Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.
Lynn began college at Mercer College (now Mercer University) before transferring to the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta where he graduated in 1956. At Tech, Lynn discovered one of his all-time favorite places, The Varsity. Lynn’s and Anne’s first date was at The Varsity, and any trip to Atlanta required a stop on North Avenue for chili dogs–usually including a box (or two) to go.
Lynn began his career at Southern Bell Telephone Company (now AT&T) in Atlanta. As he moved up the corporate ladder, Lynn and Anne moved from Atlanta to Columbus, Georgia and Americus, Georgia with their growing family. In 1965, in a fateful move, Southern Bell transferred Lynn to Decatur, Alabama, and the family took up residence on Pennylane. With all of the places that Lynn had lived, Decatur finally felt like home, and he lived in Decatur for the remainder of his life.
Shortly after moving to Decatur, Lynn met two great Decatur leaders, Barrett Shelton, Sr. and John Caddell, who became his mentors. Those two men sparked Lynn’s passion for the City of Decatur and civic causes that became his north star. When he took on a cause, it was not a casual effort. At various times, he was President of the Decatur City Council PTA, Decatur Junior Achievement Board of Directors, and Decatur Chamber of Commerce. He was Chairman of the Decatur Planning Commission. He chaired the Morgan County United Way twelve times. He was also an elder at the First Presbyterian Church and a member of the Board of Directors of the Delano Park Foundation.
One of Lynn’s greatest passions was the Decatur Kiwanis Club, of which he was a member for over 50 years, and he of course served as President. He loved the annual Pancake Day fundraiser and was regularly the top seller of tickets to that event. He loved strapping on the apron and flipping pancakes every year. One of Lynn’s favorite Kiwanis duties was to be responsible for the program at the weekly meeting, which was a regular occurrence until recently.
Through Kiwanis, Lynn discovered the Alabama Sheriff Boys Ranch and especially the young men that it served. He took on the cause of the Morgan County Boys Ranch residents with his usual zeal. One year, he found out that two of the residents wanted bicycles for Christmas. Always concerned with fairness, Lynn purchased 24 bikes, one for each resident of the Boys Ranch.
Another important cause for Lynn was local economic development. He served on the Board of Directors of the Morgan County Economic Development Association from 1978-2014. True to form, he was also chairman of that organization for most of that tenure. Lynn’s desire to bring good paying jobs to Decatur took him all over the United States and even halfway across the world, traveling to Japan on behalf of the EDA in the successful efforts to recruit Daikin Industries and Toray Carbon Fibers to build manufacturing facilities in Decatur.
In 1981, Lynn and a group of community leaders founded First American Bank. For over fifteen years, First American was a great resource for the community and was the springboard for many local business leaders even today.
After retiring from BellSouth, Lynn turned to the next chapter of his public service, Decatur electoral politics. He won election as Chair of the Decatur City School Board in 1996. In 2000, he ran for Mayor of Decatur and won, serving one term. One source of great pride during his term as Mayor was the development of the world class soccer facilities at the Jack Allen Recreation Complex.
Lynn’s honors and awards are truly too numerous to list completely. He received the Barrett C. Shelton Freedom Award from the Spirit of America Festival. The Kiwanis Club named its annual service award the Lynn C. Fowler Award, giving him the first such award. The Morgan County Leadership Hall of Fame selected him as a member of its 2018 class. In addition, the Decatur Chamber of Commerce, Decatur Rotary Club and Decatur Jaycees have all bestowed awards on him.
Lynn loved his family above all else, and his long love affair with Anne was a true partnership. When they decided that Anne would enter the workforce as a real estate agent, Lynn studied with Anne for her license exam and took on many of the duties of raising four children and keeping up the household. They always loved each other’s company whether alone, out with friends or with family at home or their favorite escape, Orange Beach. At the time of Lynn’s passing, he was holding Anne’s hand.
While Lynn loved his three sons dearly, he and Anne really wanted a daughter. When Bethanne came along a few years after they moved to Decatur, she and Lynn formed a special bond that stayed strong for the rest of his life. Lynn also delighted in being Bubby to his beloved grandchildren and great grandchildren.
When Lynn was not engaged in public service, he was an avid and excellent golfer. He finished runner-up at the Burningtree Country Club Championship. He loved his regular Saturday game at the Decatur Country Club, and he also loved defeating his sons when they all played.
The family is so grateful to Jimmie Buford, Amy Buford, Quenterria Burrell, Wanda Burrell, Lexis Curtis, Missy Grant and Toni Holcombe, all of whom took such wonderful care of Lynn for many years. Without their loving and attentive care, Lynn’s health might not have permitted his active service to the community for as long as he did. The wonderful nurses at Hospice of the Valley also provided comfort and peace at the end of his life.
A public memorial service and celebration of life will occur starting 10:00 a.m. on May 27, 2023 at Brian and Kelli’s home, 1837 Brookmeade Road, SE. In lieu of flowers, the family asks you to contribute to your favorite Decatur cause, which is what Lynn did and asked of all of us.
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