Margaret Elizabeth Fowler, 104, of Delta, Colorado, passed away July 6, 2022 at Crossroads in Delta.
Margaret was born October 2, 1917 to the late Joseph W. and Isabel Fairbairn in Orient, Illinois. She graduated from Galesburg High School in 1935 and received a BA from the University of Illinois in 1939 and a MA from the University of Wisconsin in 1940.
She was married to Fred Fowler Sr. in San Francisco, Ca. in 1941 where Fred was stationed while serving in the US Navy. Upon the conclusion of WWII they moved to Denver, Co. in 1945 and Boulder, Co. in 1948. They subsequently moved to Delta, Co. in 1962 where they re-established Mt. Sopris Instrument Co. in the basement of their Garnet Mesa home and resided in Delta for the rest of their lives. Margaret was predeceased by her loving husband Fred in 1999.
As a toddler she exhibited some the characteristics that were to be consistent elements of her life for more than the century that followed. When diagnosed with a serious kidney disorder at age two, her father was criticized for buying her a new tricycle when it was thought she would not live long enough to learn how to ride it. She clearly rode the trike and was able to compete athletically with her three younger brothers as well. In an era when it was unusual for a young woman to do so in the 1930’s, she earned an advanced degree, traveled to do adventurous things like skiing in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and took a teaching job in rural Colorado.
Margaret was never a person to waste time or energy with any form of artifice or pretense. She was deeply committed to her faith as an Orthodox Christian and her worldview was always rooted in her faith. By extension, that included an abiding concern for the state of humanity, world peace and the responsible stewardship of all of creation. She consistently displayed unwavering moral courage despite sometimes encountering oppositional public opinion or derision.
Together Margaret and Fred raised six children. Despite the chaos of an inevitably busy household, Margaret cultivated a loving, highly personal and enduring relationship with each of her children, and, later, with her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Though a woman of keen intellect, she took immense pleasure from the simple things in her life: a baby’s smile, a noon siesta in her hammock, and decades of walks around Delta observing the cycle of the seasons. Through her efforts and generosity, she, along with her husband Fred, helped establish St. Andrew’s Orthodox Church in Delta, which remains a vital element in the lives of many who presently worship there. Most of the trees that line Main Street and adjacent blocks in Delta would not exist were it not for Margaret’s efforts and resources.
Perhaps less tangible, but no less important, are innumerable acts of kindness she extended to countless individuals. Her generosity of spirit was sensed by many who knew her, including her caregivers from both Crossroads Assisted Living and during her last year, HopeWest Hospice. Both organizations provided excellent and compassionate care for Margaret.
Margaret was preceded in death by her beloved parents, brothers Robert, Joseph and James Fairbairn, husband Fred and three sons-in-law Skip Swanson, Bob Robinson and David Porter.
She is survived by six children; Beth Robinson of Denver, Fred Fowler Jr. (Carol), of Grand Junction, Mary Swanson of Delta, Joe Fowler (Rita) of Dolores, Jeanne Porter of Durango and Susan Woodbury (Pete) of Grand Junction, eight grandchildren, Buffy Naake, Cris Robinson, Anna Harmon, Abbie Woodbury Martin, David Woodbury, Meg Vigil-Fowler, Helen Benkelman, and Andrew Fowler and twelve great-grandchildren, Morgan and Wesley Naake, Sofi, Ben and Ashley Robinson, Julia and Charlotte Harmon, Carson Leeper, Ella and Wyatt Martin and Rafa and Rosie Vigil-Fowler.
A memorial service will be held for Margaret at St. Andrew’s Orthodox Church at 6 PM July 8. A funeral will follow Saturday July 9 at 8:30 AM with burial in Delta Cemetery at 10 AM. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any donations be made to HopeWest or St. Andrew’s Orthodox Church.