American Veteran 04

Maurice Fowler

1930 ~ 2021 (age 91)


MAURICE FOWLER, formerly of Fort Wayne, passed away Friday, May 20, 2021, in  Burlington, Mass. He was born in Fort Wayne in 1930 and lived in Lexington, Mass. Except for one  semester at the Hanna School, 1940-1941, he attended Harmar Grade School.  While attending Harmar he participated on the dodge ball, basketball, softball and track teams.  In the 7th and 8th grades he won blue ribbons for the 75 and 100 yard dashes, the 75 yard hurdles, the high jump, and the 110 X 4 relay in city track meets. In 1944, he entered Central High School and graduated in 1948. At Central he earned Varsity letters in basketball, football and track. He served as President of the Student Council in his Junior and Senior years. He was elected Vice President of his junior class. He was president of the History Club in his senior year, and a member of the Speech Club. He was selected to the National Honor Society in his Senior year.  Upon Graduation he was selected for a “Kilbourne Charitable Educational and Religious Fund Scholarship”. 

In 1947, Maurice was elected as Lt. Governor at the American Legion “Hoosier Boys State”. He was one of 312 people to receive the 1947 certificate of recognition by “Opportunity Journal of Negro Life” the official Publication of the National Urban League.

In 1948, he was a Junior Delegate at the NAACP National Convention.  He was President and a member of the “Peerless Boys Club” at the Phyllis Wheatley Center on Douglas Street.

In 1948, Maurice enrolled at West Virginia State College near Charleston, W.V.  He was a member of the Junior Varsity basketball team. In 1949, he transferred to Albion College, in Albion Michigan. At Albion, he was a member of the Varsity football, basketball and track teams. In his Senior year he was selected to Omicron Delta Kappa a national honorary fraternity. John Porter was his roommate for one year at Albion College. He graduated from Albion in 1952 and was drafted into the U.S. Army shortly after graduation. He took basic training at Fort Bliss, Texas and attended Officer Candidates School at Fort Benning, Ga.  He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army in September 1953. He was stationed at Fort Knox, Ky. from September 1953 to March 1955 when he was released from active duty and received his honorable discharge.

He served in the Army Reserves from 1955 to 1965 reaching the rank of Captain. He returned to Fort Wayne in 1955 and worked briefly at the International Harvester, and Capehart Farnsworth. In 1956, he was hired by the U.S. Air Force’s “Air Material Command” located at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, in Dayton, Ohio as a General Schedule level 5 “Procurement Technician”.  He was Buyer/Contract Negotiator for the B-70/X bomber.  He was named to the Wright Patterson Interdepartmental Basketball League “All Star” Team for three years.  He was a member of the Wright Patterson Base basketball team in 1958. In 1960, he transferred from the “Air Material Command” to the “Electronic System Division” located at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, Mass.

Shortly after moving to Massachusetts in 1960 he was the victim of housing discrimination and a legal challenge against this discrimination. The Massachusetts Supreme Court made a landmark decision in his favor in 1962.

He earned a MBA from Northeastern University in 1967, and successfully completed all of the requirements, except a dissertation, for a PhD in Economics from Boston College. He was promoted through the ranks to the Senior Executive Service in 1976. His position was that of Assistant Deputy for Contracting at the Electronic Systems Division. While at the Electronic System Division he played a key role in planning for the development and procurement of many major Command and Control, Communication, Surveillance, and Intelligence systems for Continental Air Defense during the Cold War.  Under his management contracts totaling up to 2 billion dollars were awarded annually. He supervised an organization of 350 people. Some of these systems were the “Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS), “Airborne Ground Surveillance Radar (Joint Stars)”, “Over the Horizon Radar (OTH)”, “Ballistic Missile Early Warning System Upgrade (BMEWS)”, the “North Warning System” and many others.  Systems such as a Command and Control Systems for Saudi Arabia (Peace Shield) and for Thailand were also developed and procured for Foreign Countries. 

His awards and recognition include: (1) A 1983 award from the Boston Federal Executive Board, New England Minority Business Opportunity Committee for excellence in minority business development.  The Electronic System Divisions contract awards to minority business increased from $170,000 in 1976 when he became Deputy of Procurement to $51,900,000 in 1983.  (2) Selected for Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award in 1986. (3) Selected for Air Force Performance Award in 1987. (4) Selected for Presidential Distinguished Executive Rank Award in 1988 (5) Selected for Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award in 1990.

He was a co author of a book titled “Air Force Trivia”. During his employment by the Air Force he was selected for an Executive Development Program by the Civil Service Commission. He worked at The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for 10 months. During his time at HUD he headed the development of Safety and Construction Standards for Mobile Homes group, worked as an analyst in the New Communities Program office.

Maurice leaves to cherish his memory, his sister, Karen Fowler-Williams; and nieces, Laurice Harris and Carol Dates; and a host of great nieces and nephews.

Maurice was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Eliza Fowler; brothers, Ellsworth Fowler, Ulysses Fowler; and sister, Mildred Harris.

Memorial Service held July 22, 2021 in Massachusetts.

Arrangements entrusted to Douglass Funeral Home - Lexington, MA


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Memorial Service
July 22, 2021

4:00 PM

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