Grace Mae Fowler left our world but not our hearts on Sunday, August 19, 2018. She was born January 24, 1923, the daughter of Eben and Selma (Arison) Thurlby in Genoa, IL.
Grace attended Kingston schools and graduated from NIU Teacher’s College (later to become NIU) in 1944. Here she was active in bowling, hockey and chairman of the College Book Exchange. She remained a member of the NIU Alumni Association.
Her love of education continued as she taught High School Social Studies, English, Home Economics, and Physical Education classes in Kaneland and Kingston schools. For many years she enjoyed giving local comedy readings at the Kingston Grange and other organizations and also directed many plays.
One day Grace was visiting her best friend Darlene Borsberry and they needed help opening a window. Darlene’s brother Walter came to their rescue and the rest is history. Grace and Walter, a local farmer, fell in love and were married in 1946 in Kingston. They made their home in Herbert, IL where Grace still resided until her health didn’t allow her to live alone. Hardly a bitter word was ever spoken between them in their 34 years of marriage. Walter predeceased Grace in December of 1980.
Kingston Methodist Church was where she was confirmed but Davis Methodist Church in Herbert became her home church after marriage. She held many offices including the head of the Education Department and taught Sunday School for many years. She looked forward to a Wednesday morning Upper Room class each week.
Throughout her life Grace remained active. She was a 4-H leader with the Kingston Juniors and later a leader with the Young Producers club in Boone County. Grace continued to be called upon to do many readings and speeches such as at cemetery services and giving the sermon at times as a lay leader in church. She had an outstanding and memorable speaking ability.
She will long be remembered by any one who knew her as the most positive, loving, and patient person that you could ever meet. Grace and Walter raised their four children with him being a farmer and she was a devoted and supportive farm wife.
Left to cherish her memories are: her children Marilyn (Jim) Osterberg, of Garden Prairie, Stan (Sylvia) Fowler of Belvidere, Joyce (Rick) Brockman of Belvidere; daughter in-law Linda (Terry) Baier of Belvidere; grandchildren, Scott (Sue) Fowler, Rob (Stephanie) Osterberg, Ryan (Sarah) Osterberg, David (Kathy) Fowler, Ronald (Sheila) Fowler, Brad (Jessica) Fowler, Nick (Mallory) Brockman, Kristi Brockman and Kim (Derrick) Vail; great grandchildren, Beaux (Beth), Rusty (Katie), Dillon and Dustin Fowler, Brandon, Cole, Grant and Kenley Osterberg, Amberlee and Ashlee Fowler, Taylor Fowler, Branndon and Brianna Fowler, Savannah and Connor Fowler, Cali, Summer and Tanner Brockman, Serenity and Shance Brockman, Jadyn, Jace, Rayley and Skyley Vail; step great grandchildren, Richard (Brandie) Burns and daughter Allirea, Anthony Burns and Angelinea (Lee) Gutierrez and Daughter Gia, Tiffany Jacobson, Stephanie Gunn; great-great grandchild, Braxton Fowler; brother in-law, Donald Fowler and numerous nieces and nephews. Predeceased by parents, husband; son, Edward, Fowler; grandson, Chad Fowler; step-great granddaughter, Courtney Gallano Pearson; brothers, Earl (Dorothy) Thurlby and Clifford (Ina) Thurlby.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m, Friday, August 24, 2018 at First United Methodist Church, 610 Bonus Avenue, Belvidere, IL with Rev. Jackie Wills of the Herbert United Methodist Church will officiate. Burial in Kingston Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Thursday, August 23, 2018 at Anderson Funeral and Cremation Services, 218 W. Hurlbut Avenue, Belvidere, IL. A memorial will be established to the Herbert United Methodist Church. The family would like to thank Rosewood Care Center in Rockford for the loving attention to Mom’s needs. To share a memory, please visit www.AndersonFCS.com