Lee was born and grew up in Kansas City, MO. He was the son of Elinor and Richard Fowler Sr., who were both active in the community. Richard was the president and editor of the K.C. Star. Lee's elder brother Richard Jr. passed away in 2001 and younger brother Giles currently resides in Ames, IA. Lee graduated Paseo High School, attended Westminster College in Fulton, MO, and graduated from the University of Kansas City (now UMKC) in 1953. Lee served in the Navy, and was very fond of his time in San Diego where he lived for several years. He worked as a sales manager at Sears for a few years, (where he was once famous for ordering too many pink shirts).
Lee went on to lead a long and successful career in commercial real estate. He was with the J.C. Nichols company from 1958 to 1993, where he leased properties and managed the Country Club Plaza and other developments. Most recently he was the V.P. of Marketing and Communications.
Lee is survived by his wife Kitty Breece Fowler, whom he married March 11, 1989. After dating for 4 months he proposed. "I think we could live together under the right conditions." They married March 11, 1989 and shared 28 years together.
He had three sons from his previous marriage with Marilyn Haislup Fowler of Woodland Hills, CA: Lee M. Fowler, Jr. of Kansas City, MO, Thomas S. Fowler, (who passed away in 2005), and Christopher B. Fowler, who lives with his partner Jay Manahan in Los Angeles, CA. Some of Lee Sr.'s great joys were watching golf with Lee Jr., and listening to Chris discuss his work around high tech, which Lee Sr. didn't understand at all.
Lee had a terrific sense of humor, he was an avid reader, and was very musical. He played bass guitar, and played professionally in college.
His greatest accomplishment was his years in AA, not just overcoming his own addiction including more than 38 years of sobriety, but his passion of providing help and support to many in need. He served as President and Director of the Community Addiction Program. He was the volunteer director of the AA Central Office Kansas City for many years. Lee was a volunteer speaker for the National Council of Alcohol and Drug Abuse.
He was active in the community and worked with numerous industry groups including: Westport Tomorrow, Brush Creek Planning, Southtown Council, Main Street Development Corporation, and others, and was a member of the KC Real Estate Board, Beta Theta Pi Alumni Assoc., UMKC Alumni Assoc., and the Coaches Council. He was the VP of the KC Philharmonic Assoc., a member of the Parker Memorial Foundation, the KC Chamber of Commerce, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum Friends of Art.
When Lee made friends, they were friends for life. He loved his Thursday lunches with friends at McCoy's Pub, monthly HyVee breakfest club with Nichols buddies, quarterly lunches with Paseo High school friends, and meeting friends from work and volunteer organizations, and the last Tuesday of the month lunches with Lynn and Madeline.
As Lee's illness progressed he found pleasure in reading a good mystery, listening to Chet Atkins, going for a ride, a burger at Sonic, and of course an enchilada!
Lee's ashes will be scattered in Southern California, by Lee Jr., Chris, and Jay.
Come spring, a remembrance will be held at the home.