Gregory A. Fowler

Oct. 6, 2016

Gregory A. Fowler (BS ELEC EGR '75), Mountain View, Calif., died suddenly on Sept. 25, 2016, following a heart attack. He was 64.

He was born in Fremont, Mich., in July 1952, the oldest of three children of Nelson E. and Virginia M. (Anderson) Fowler. He lost his entire optic system in surgeries following diagnosis at age one of bilateral retinal blastoma. His parents guided him through a normal childhood, nevertheless, complete with raised-letter alphabet blocks and, family tradition says, dismantling and reassembling his tricycle (no doubt inspired by his father, a mechanic).

The family moved to Wyoming, Mich., just west of Grand Rapids, so that he could take advantage of a unique county-based instructional option for children who were blind. He took "normal" classes at Wyoming High school and after graduation attended Grand Valley State University to start his college-level education. He then transferred to Michigan State University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1975, with a substantial dose of computer science.

He was an electrical engineering graduate student at Stanford University starting in 1976, finishing with an engineer's degree in 1981. A distinguished career as a software engineer at a number of well-known Silicon Valley companies followed.

Ater retiring in 2003, he devoted countless hours, and his formidable technical and critical-thinking skills, to the benefit of local community-based organizations, notably including Mountain View Educational Foundation and the League of Women Voters, serving terms on the boards of directors of both as well as being a task-oriented volunteer. He also became a member of the Board of National Braille Press in Boston. He was a founding member of the Silicon Valley Council of the Blind in 1987, and graduated from Leadership Mountain View, Class of 2005. In addition to the furtherance of educational opportunities for blind students, his passions included the natural environment and its denizens (on land and in the sea). His local outdoors activity centered on walks around Old Mountain View with his wife, Julie Lovins. Besides his wife, he leaves two sisters, Susan Berryhill of Morley, Mich., and Marlene Wolters of Jenison, Mich., four nieces and nephews, two brothers-in-law, many cousins, and countless friends.

No services are planned. Memorials may be directed to the National Braille Press, www.nbp.org.

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