Don Ella Fowler
Benton, LA – Services for Don Ella Fowler will be held at Cypress Baptist Church on Saturday, September 21, 2019. Visitation will be from 12 noon to 2 p.m. followed by the funeral service beginning at 2 p.m. with Bro. John Fream and Bro. Tommy Patton officiating. Don Ella will have a full funeral procession to Hill Crest where she will be laid to rest. Donnie went to sleep on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 and woke up in the presence and arms of Jesus in heaven.
Don Ella, also known as Donnie, Mama “D”, and “D”, was born on August 31, 1944 at Majors Army Air Base in Greenville, Texas to Sargent Albert and Juanita Clark. Shortly afterward, her father was transferred to Smoky Hill Army Air Base in Salina, Kansas. From there they came to Barksdale Air Force Base in 1949. She lived in and around Bossier for the rest of her life.
She started to school at Waller Elementary School the first year it was open. She had the honor of being one of Waller’s first, first graders. She also attended Rusheon Junior High and Bossier High School where she was a proud member of the “Class of 62” and a Bearkat through and through.
While at Bossier High, Donnie made a name for herself. She was an outstanding student with an outstanding personality, an office worker, a member of the National Honor Society, and first chair saxophone player in the nationally known Bossier High School Marching Band. Her band performed at half-time in the 1961 Sugar Bowl. After the performance, she was quite put out because her snow white shoes turned green. The field had been dyed green for television. Also, with outgoing personality, she was a class favorite.
Donnie met her future husband in the spring of her senior year at the famous Bossier City Ko-Ko-Mo drive-in. Their first date was on April 1, 1962 (April Fool’s Day). Then at the tender age of 18, they were married at Chapel #2 on Barksdale Air Force Base on December 20, 1962.
The next 2 ½ years they lived in Natchitoches where she learned the ins and outs of the finance business. After Jerry finished school they moved back to Bossier City, the place she called home and her only child, a son, Daryl was born.
While working in the finance business, she became not only the youngest, but the only female assistant manager in the history of the company she worked for. She then switched over to the car business where she very quickly became one of the youngest notaries and title clerks in the state of Louisiana.
In 1978, she found her niche in the work of work. Donnie joined the Bossier Parish School Board team. She worked first at the Evaluation Center and then for the nurses before moving to the Central Office in 1996 where she became the receptionist for the system.
People quickly and laughingly began to say if you want to get anywhere in the Central Office, you had to go by Mrs. Fowler first. She remained in that position until she retired with 40 years of service. During this time she had the honor of working for four Superintendents.
With her fantastic ability to remember details, people’s names and phone numbers, Donnie became affectionately known as “The Voice of the Bossier Parish School System”, or “Mama D”. It was said if you wanted to know anything from what was going on, or a phone number, or where to find a paperclip, just call Mrs. Fowler.
The key to Donnie’s success in any endeavor she entered into was her fantastic God-given talent to meet and greet people. Young, elderly, whatever background or anywhere in between, it did not matter. She never met a stranger. She could talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime about anything and make them feel comfortable and at ease in a matter of minutes.
One of her supervisors once told her she could get more information from a parent in the fifteen minutes they were waiting to see a professional counselor than the counselor could in an hour. She had an aura surrounding her that when she walked into a room, her presence was known.
In 1995, Donnie was the very proud First Lady of El Karubah Shriners the year her husband was Potentate. She was affectionately known as Potentatress.
In the warm months she thoroughly enjoyed touring Cypress Lake in her Cajun Pirogue – her Pontoon Barge.
She was a very proud and faithful member of Cypress Baptist Church. She was a member of Daryl Reed and Buster Toms “old folks” Sunday School and naturally a greeter in the early or Traditional Service.
Donnie leaves behind to cherish the wonderful and precious memories of her to her husband and best friend for 57 years, Jerry of Benton; only son Daryl Fowler and wife Beth of Trophy Club, Tx; grandson Cole, granddaughter Kristen and grandson Caden all of Trophy Club, Tx; Aunt Careta Bryant, Gholson, Tx; Aunt Lovetta Bryant, Cypress, Tx; Cousin Sharon Zisa and husband Richard, Cypress, Tx; Cousin Kevin Smith, Cypress, Tx; Cousin Brent Smith and wife Pam, Galveston, Tx and her precious rescued fur babies Rolex and Mardi Gras. She also leaves behind a very, very special and dear friend Stefani Jenkins.
She has gone on to prepare a place for us. May God and Jesus be with her. 2 Timothy 4:7 truly fit her, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.”
The way she lived her life and the way she related to people regardless of their age, race, religion or belief, was a shining example of the Golden Rule “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” Matthew 7:12. In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you.
Preceding her on her trip to heaven are her father, Albert Clark, Mother, Juanita Clark, Grandmother Etta Cook, Grandfather Ray Renfro, Uncles K.P. Bryant and Calvin Smith, and Cousin Marsha Jaska and Marsha’s son Grant.
A very sincere and from the heart thank you to the entire staff at the Willis Knighton Cancer Center for the love and care you showed Donnie. There is a special thank-you to her doctor, Dr. Anvil Veluvolu and two nurses in the Chemotherapy center, Megan Boudreaux and Gina Intravong for the special care and love you gave Donnie.
Honoring her as pallbearers will be Buster Toms, Daryl Reed, Bill Carrier, Donnie Moore, Sheriff Julian Whittington and her first grandson Cole Fowler.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Mama D’s name to the Cypress Baptist Church Building Fund.