Mark Fowler had seizures as long as I’ve known him, which is more than 10 years. I guess I knew they could be harmful to him. But mostly I thought he might get hurt if he collapsed in the wrong place or hit his head on the way down. I honestly never thought they would kill him. But my 48 year old friend had a Grand Mal seizure Saturday night and died. So his wife Mary lost her best friend, and his three kids have to learn to make it through this crazy life without their dad.
But I don’t want this to be about epliepsy or seizures. While that is something with which Mark and his family had to live, it did not define him.
If one word could define Mark, for me, it would be, “Yo.” Mark was brilliant. Not that he would have told you, but he was the Salutatorian of Lancaster High School’s class of 1982. Nor would he have told you he received a Masters in Electrical Engineering from Rice University in 1986. I only know because I read his obit. But I digress. Mark would usually walk up to me and say, “Yo. What’s happening?” It was quirky. And even annoying at times. But it was very much Mark. I imagine he nonchalantly sauntered up to the Pearly Gates Saturday night and asked St. Peter, “Yo. What’s up?”
We often went out with a group of guys…a Men’s Night Out, where we would go to dinner or a movie or play Whirlyball or something. But the real treat was our conversations over either dinner or dessert. Mark could talk politics or religion or economics or whatever. But he wasn’t condescending. And while he might challenge you on your position…no, let me correct myself…while he WOULD certainly challenge you, he was respectful and didn’t need to change your mind or prove you wrong. He just enjoyed the mental sparring.
Mark liked to camp out and he enjoyed traveling but he really loved playing games. Any game. He especially loved obscure board games. He would come to a party with some board game of which no one else had ever heard. I usually had no interest in learning the game, but I enjoyed watching Mark set it up and explain the object and rules of the game. He was in his element. Everything was ordered and structured and clearly defined.
I already miss my friend. And I’m hurt and frustrated and maybe even a little angry that God took my friend way too soon. Oh, don’t misunderstand me. I’m not questioning God’s perfect timing. I truly believe God has a greater plan for Mark’s family. And I certainly believe Mark is in a better place and wouldn’t trade places with any of us if he could. I’m just a little selfish. Because I’ve never met anyone like Mark. And I doubt I ever will again.
I just wanted you to know a little about my friend Mark that you might not discern from his obituary:
Mark Alan Fowler, 48, of Plano, went to be with the Lord on March 31, 2012. He was born on December 4, 1963 in Dallas to his parents, Randall Leon and Margaret Reese Fowler. He married Mary Schroeder in Richardson, Tx, on December 28, 1991. They had three children.
He was the Salutatorian of Lancaster High School in 1982, and received a Masters in Electrical Engineering from Rice University in 1986. Mr. Fowler was employed by ONE Network as a Technical Product Manager for the past four years. He was a member of The Heights Baptist Church of Richardson, Tx.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Schroeder Fowler; son Joshua; and twin daughters Geena and Meg, all of Plano. He is also survived by his twin brother Steve Fowler of Plano and younger brother Gregg Fowler of Boston, MA.
A memorial service for Mark Fowler was held Thursday, April 5, in the Chapel at The Heights Baptist Church. A private burial took place later at Restland Cemetery in Richardson. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Epilepsy Foundation of America.
Tribute written and photos submitted by David Alvey.
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