A memorial service for Catherine Elizabeth Blackshire Fowler, known as Bettye to all, 95, West Plains, Missouri, will be held at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, December 10, 2022 at First Christian Church, West Plains, under the direction of Robertson-Drago Funeral Home.
Mrs. Fowler passed away peacefully at the West Vue Sleepy Oaks home in West Plains, Missouri, on December 3, 2022.
Bettye was the younger of two daughters born to Cecil Earl Blackshire and Otilla Embry Blackshire on March 12, 1927. While most of her childhood was spent in Morrilton, she moved to Harrison for her junior year of high school, living with her older half-sister, Beryl Newman Murray. During her year in Harrison, Bettye began walking to school with a classmate who lived next door. And though they never dated in high school, her neighbor and walking partner, Marvin Fowler, would later become the man Bettye would walk through life with for 73 years of marriage.?Bettye returned to Morrilton for her senior year of high school, then obtained a degree in vocal music from Arkansas State Teacher’s College (now University of Central Arkansas) in Conway. While attending college she won the title of Miss Morrilton and competed in the Miss Arkansas pageant, where she captured first place in the talent portion of the competition singing Oscar Hammerstein’s then-popular “Indian Love Call.” Bettye loved to sing and to teach others to sing. After college, she taught vocal music in public school systems, first in Crossett, then in Van Buren. While teaching in Van Buren she and Marvin rekindled their relationship and married on June 20, 1949, just before Marvin’s final year of medical school at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock. After their 1954 move to West Plains, where Marvin started his medical practice, Bettye organized choral groups, taught young people to sing, and volunteered weekly at the West Vue Nursing Home, carrying in boxes of songbooks from her church, leading devotionals and singing hymns with West Vue’s elderly residents. She was a longtime member of the Curry Street Church of Christ, before joining the First Christian Church in West Plains where she sang in the choir until age 89. Bettye and Marvin raised three children, Richard, Robin, and Rex in a home they built on West 3rd Street in West Plains. Bettye was a passionate and competitive bridge player. She loved to organize bridge games at her home, and seemed to have a different brightly patterned jacket and matching pair of shoes to wear for every foursome. She enjoyed hosting dinner parties inside her home and in her backyard for friends and neighbors, Sunday School class members, her extended family, and for others she’d just met. Bettye cherished her friendships wherever she lived. These friends were deeply committed to her, even as her health deteriorated in her later years. Marvin, Richard, Robin, and Rex will forever be grateful to them. The family is also appreciative of the compassionate care Bettye received in the final years of her life from the caregivers at West Vue.
Bettye is survived by her husband and the love of her life, Marvin; their son and daughter-in-law, Richard Tilden Fowler and Barbara Roll Fowler of Fayette, Missouri; their daughter and son-in-law, Robin Elizabeth Fowler Lee and Rod Lee of Camano Island, Washington; their son, Rex Fowler of Hartford, Connecticut; son-in-law, James ‘Jim’ Mauer of St. Louis; five grandchildren, Ryan Fowler and his spouse, Emily, Tommy Mauer, Dane Fowler, David Mauer and his spouse, Kristin, Melanie Mauer, and two great-grandchildren, Cora Fowler and Bayleigh Fowler. Survivors also include two nephews and one niece, John Jeffrey Scroggin, William Earl Scroggin, and Phyllis Scroggin McKuin, along with their spouses, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Bettye loved the children and family members of her sister, Billie Jeanne as if they were her own.
Visitation services will be held from 6:00 until 7:30 p.m., Friday, at Robertson-Drago Funeral Home. Burial will be in Howell Memorial Park Cemetery. The family requests that those who wish to make a memorial gift in Bettye’s name please consider the Martha Vance Samaritan Outreach Center, 715 Missouri Avenue, West Plains, MO 65775 (www.samaritanoutreachcenter.com) and may be left at or mailed to Robertson-Drago Funeral Home, 211 West Main, West Plains, MO 65775. Online condolences may be expressed at www.robertsondrago.com.
“And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight, the clouds be rolled back as a scroll; the trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend – Even so, it is well with my soul!”
December 5, 2022 @ 6:57 pm
Dr. Fowler, Richard/Barbara, Robin/Rod, and Rex and Families
Our Deepest Sympathy to all of you upon the passing of Bettye. She was wonderful caring Christian Friend. She raised a wonderful Family and will be missed! We will be keeping all of you in our daily prayers and thoughts. May God comfort, encourage, strengthen, and give all of you peace. May God bless all of you.
In Christian Love,
Tim, Amber(Cozort), and Corby Redburn
David and Kathy Clark
December 5, 2022 @ 7:27 pm
Doc, Richard, Robin, Rex and all of the family, what great memories I have of “YE”. You are in our thoughts and prayers!
Ted and Cora Beaty
December 6, 2022 @ 9:35 am
So sorry to learn of your loss. Have no doubt that she is singing praises to her God for eternity now.
So many memories of her, and all your family. She was the first to teach me a true appreciation for singing, which has inspired me thru all these years. A real lady in all aspects of her life.
Ted and I send prayers to all of you for comfort and peace during this time.
Ted and Cora Beaty
December 6, 2022 @ 10:01 am
Dr. Fowler & Family,
My deepest sympathy. May you find peace and comfort in this time of sorrow.
During the ups and downs of life, I hope you take a bit of comfort knowing that your mom will always be with you, may our lord Jesus Christ comfort your heart and give you the peace you need.
Marangelis & Family
December 6, 2022 @ 10:51 am
Our family loved Bettye . I loved to hear her sing and looked forward to her solos in the choir. She will forever be a huge part of my childhood. I am so sorry for your loss. I am thinking of you all.
Lanny & Deana Kimbrough
December 6, 2022 @ 3:34 pm
Dr. Fowler, Richard, Robin, Rex we send our condolences to all of you in this time of your loss. We pray God’s blessings to you all.
December 7, 2022 @ 11:38 am
Sorry to hear of Mrs Fowler passing. Prayers for your family for comfort and peace
Christopher J. Douçot
December 7, 2022 @ 4:21 pm
I never met Mrs. Fowler but I know she must have been a fabulous person because she raised one of the finest human being out there, Rex Fowler. Thank-you Mrs. Fowler for bringing Rex into this world and for raising him to be a generous, compassionate, merciful, and loving soul. We will remember the Fowler family in our prayers.
Chris and the beloved community at the
Hartford Catholic Worker
David and Carrie Thompson
December 8, 2022 @ 5:02 pm
Doc, Richard, Robin and Rex, we are praying for you during your time of grief but know Bettye Is singing praises in heavens choir right now. One beautiful memory of her was “Silent Night” she sang with Rick at church just a couple of years ago.
Love you all. David and Carrie Thompson
December 9, 2022 @ 12:19 pm
Richard and family, sorry for loss of your Mother. Prayers for your family.
Noble and Donna Fox Newberry
December 9, 2022 @ 7:36 pm
Dear Dr Fowler and family,
So sorry to hear of Bettye’s passing. She was such a classy lady both in dress and personality. Jim and I always cherished both of your friendships.
Jim and Jane Streff
Hassel and Alice Vandergriff
December 12, 2022 @ 6:29 am
We were so sorry to hear of Bettye’s passing, and want all her family to know that we are thinking of you and praying for God’s comfort and care for you, especially at this time.
Flo Jean Schlosser
December 12, 2022 @ 7:58 pm
So very sorry to hear of your loss. Bettye was always so good to Eva Jane and I and she and Marvin were good friends of our parents.. She was truly a beautiful person inside and out and she will be missed.
Don and Flo Jean Schlosser