Cover photo for Marilyn L. Fowler's Obituary
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1925 Marilyn 2021

Marilyn L. Fowler

December 26, 1925 — June 4, 2021

Marilyn Fowler, 95, of Bertrand, Nebraska, died Friday June 4, 2021 at home in the presence of family.

She was born December 26, 1925 in Bertrand to Charles and Dorothy (Strickler) Larson. Marilyn grew up in Bertrand, living a short time in McCook. She graduated from Bertrand High School in 1943, after which she attended Hastings College as a Music Major.

She was united in marriage to Gene Fowler January 7, 1945 in Bertrand and celebrated 50 years of marriage before Gene’s death in 1995.  She participated in the family farm and cattle feeding operation until their move to Colorado in 1981. Five children were born to Gene and Marilyn; Tom, Melinda, Richard, Daniel and Felicia.

Marilyn was very active in community and state wide efforts while raising her 5 children. These efforts included:  As a board member and Vice President, Lexington Community Hospital Auxiliary; as board member, Community Concert Association; as National committee chairwoman, Young Democrats, 1958-1965; as member, central committee and as county chairwoman, Democrats of Nebraska.  Member: Woman’s Club; American Legion Auxiliary; Board of Directors, Nebraskans for Public Television, 1972-75.  Listed in Marqui’s “Who’s Who of American Women” 1972. Advisory Board of Title III ESEA 1971; Mid-America Arts Alliance Advisory Council 1973; Nebraska Library Commission Advisory Council 1974; Appointed 1202 Commission (Nebraska Coordinating Council for Postsecondary Education) 1974; “Who’s Who of American Women 1974; Elected President of the State Board of Education, 1974; Member International Platform Association 1974; Advisory for SUN (Student University of Nebraska) 1974; Advisory for Artsi in Education for the State Arts Council, 1976; member of St, Anne’s Catholic Church, Lexington; Secretary for Fowler, Inc. (Agriculture and Art); League of Women Voters, Kearney chapter.   Elected to State Board of Education, November 3, 1970, for a 4 year term; Re-elected November 5, 1974, serving as President. 

She was particularly involved as Regional Manager for Robert Kennedy’s Presidential campaign in 1968.  

In 1975 Marilyn and Gene initiated an art and antiques gallery in Vail, Colorado, managed by children Tom and Melinda. Marilyn promoted midwestern artists in that endeavor for a number of years.

In 1978 Marilyn was the Democrats candidate for Nebraska’s Third Congressional District, traveling and campaigning extensively throughout the district.

After moving to Colorado in 1981, Marilyn worked in various marketing endeavors, and continued working in that field in both Phoenix, Arizona, San Francisco , California and Kearney, Nebraska. 

After age 80 Marilyn began a restaurant business: The “Flippin Sweet” Pizzeria and Italian Joint, that is still run by family after 15 years. 

Marilyn participated in instrumental and vocal music from an early age. She enjoyed writing, knitting and attending grandchildren’s activities for years. 

She spent her adult life dedicated to her Roman Catholic faith.

She had a keen interest in current events and the arts, but always in the lives of family and friends until the very end.

Survivors include: son Tom, San Francisco, California  (currently Bertrand, Nebraska)

Melinda (Kelly) Shannon, Elkhorn, Nebraska 

Richard (Nancy) Fowler, Lincoln, Nebraska 

Felicia (Jason) Alexander, Bertrand, Nebraska 

Sister Sally Burt, Lincoln, Nebraska

Six grandchildren: Pat, Sarah and Clancy Shannon, Tanner (Neleigh) and Makinna Fowler, and Dashiell Alexander.

Three great grandchildren: Jackson, Carter and Keira McLaughlin

Nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.

Marilyn was preceded in death by her husband Gene and son Daniel, and sisters Mickey Flanagan and Suzy Paulak. 

Visitation will be held Wednesday, June 9, 2021 from 5-7 p.m. at Reynolds-Love Funeral Home in Lexington.

Mass Of Christian Burial will be Thursday, June 10, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at the St. John’s Catholic Church in Smithfield with Father Thomas Lux, officiating.

Graveside services will be held Thursday at 2:30 at the Greenwood Cemetery, north of Lexington.

Memorials are suggested to the family for later designation.

Reynolds Love Funeral Home in Lexington is in charge of arrangements, with online condolences or personal reflections sent to

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marilyn L. Fowler, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Starts at 11:00am (Eastern time)

St. John's Catholic Church

, Smithfield, NE 68976

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