Walter Sherril Stowers, 81, of Gallipolis, Ohio, passed away Tuesday, February 5, 2013, at the Hospice room at Holzer Hospital after a brief battle with liver cancer.
Walter was born September 23, 1931, in Westmoreland, W.Va. He was the youngest son of the late Watson “Watt” and Bessie Stapleton Stowers.
Walter is survived by his wife, Bernice (Fellure) Stowers, whom he married June 23, 1963, at First Baptist Church of Gallipolis, and his two children, Cheryl Stowers of Ladson, South Carolina, and Kevin (Kathy) Stowers of Crestline, Ohio, and a step-grandson, Tyler (Jessica) Burkhart of Bowling Green, Ohio. Walter is also survived by a brother, Wilson “Blackie” Stowers and a sister, Mary Faye (Stowers) Fuller, and the following in-laws: Florence (Fellure) Sheets, Dorothy (Fellure) Perkins, Noah Houck, Harry (Mary) Fellure, Lillia (Wendell) Haner, Russell (Judy) Fellure and numerous nieces and nephews from both sides of his family.
Walter was preceded in death by four brothers, one sister, four sisters-in-law and two brothers-in-law: Charles Stowers, Marion (Rosalee) Stowers, Bernard (Camille) Stowers, James (Frances) Stowers, Margaret (Stowers) Everett Perdue, Azile Stowers and Arthur Fuller. He was also preceded in death by his father and mother-in-law, Irvin and Cassie (Sheets) Fellure, four brothers-in-law and two sisters-in-law: Howard Fellure, Lewis Fellure, Terry Dean Fellure, Myron Sheets, Dorothy (Fellure) Houck and Bernice Houck.
Walter graduated from Ceredo-Kenova High School in Kenova, W.Va., in 1949. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1951-1954 during the Korean War where he achieved the rank of Staff Sargent. Walter then graduated from Marshall University in 1959 with a BS degree in Social Sciences and a BS in Health and Physical Education. He pursued his Masters degrees from Marshall University where in 1960 he graduated with his MS World Political Economics and Geography and in 1962 with his MS in Administration/Education. Walter received his PhD from East Coast University Baptist College at Dade City, Florida in 1972.
Walter retired from the Gallia County Local School District in 1983. Through his many years in the field of education, he touched many lives as a teacher, coach, administrator and superintendent throughout the state of Ohio. He began his teaching and coaching career at Bellbrook High School in Xenia, Ohio. From there he moved to Mercerville High School in Mercerville, Ohio, Miami Military Academy in Florida and then to Minford, Ohio, as teacher and coach at Minford High School. Walter then took the position of principal in the Gallia County Local School District at Southwestern High School. He also served as principal of Adena Local High School in Frankfort, Ohio, before accepting the position of superintendent of Liberty Union Local Schools in Baltimore, Ohio. Walter spent the remainder of his career in education as a principal at Big Walnut High School in Sunbury, Ohio, then North Ridgeville High School and Lear North Elementary School in North Ridgeville, Ohio. Walter then brought his family back to Gallia County where he finished his career in the Gallia County Local School District as principal of North Gallia High School and Centerville Elementary School. Walter worked for the State of Ohio from 1984-1993 as an Account Executive in Economic Development. He then accepted the position of director of Southeastern Business College, Gallipolis, Ohio, from 1994-1997.
Walter was a member of Faith Baptist Church in Gallipolis, Ohio. He was a member of the Scioto #6 Masonic Lodge in Chillicothe, Ohio, for 45 years before transferring his membership to the Morning Dawn Masonic Lodge of Gallipolis, Ohio. He also belongs to the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, American Legion Post of Gallipolis, Ohio, and Ohio Retired Teachers Association.
Services will be held at 3:30 p.m., Saturday, February 9, 2013, at the Willis Funeral Home with Pastor James Lusher and Pastor Alvis Pollard officiating. Burial will follow at Ridgelawn Cemetery in Mercerville, Ohio. Friends may call at the funeral home on Friday, February 8, 2013, from 5-8 p.m. with a Masonic Service at 8 p.m. There will be full military rites by volunteers of local veterans organizations.
Pallbearers will be Mike Moore, Jason Thomas, Todd Miller, Joe Bostic, Ryan Matura and Chris Barnes. Honorary pallbearers are John Hall, a long time childhood friend and his “Friday Morning Breakfast Group and Golf Buddies”.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Walter Stower’s memory to Holzer Hospice, 100 Jackson Pike, Gallipolis, Ohio.
Please visit www.willisfuneralhome.com to send e-mail condolences.