Deanna Paulette Fowler was born in Sturgis, S.D. on July 27, 1943 to August (Bud) and Julia (Larson) Wildberger. She passed away in Loveland, Colorado on July 29, 2018 surrounded by the family that loved her so very much.
Her early childhood was spent in the Black Hills that she loved and yearned for her entire life, first on the Wildberger sheep ranch and then in Sturgis, South Dakota. She lived in Sturgis until 1956 when her parents moved to Rapid City, S.D. to work at the Pennington County Jail. Living adjacent to the jail gave her quite an education into the seamier side of life.
She graduated from Rapid City High School in 1961. After graduation she remained in South Dakota until she moved to Chicago with her son and daughter in 1965.
Big city living was not for her so she moved to Loveland, Colorado in 1966. She lived in a little house in the Sherrie-Mar neighborhood until 1974 when she moved her little family, a boy and two girls to the Buckhorn Valley west of Loveland.
Deanna sunk her roots down deep in her new home and fulfilled her dreams of raising her own food to nourish her family. She cooked everything from scratch, made incredible sourdough bread and canned everything she could find to put in a jar. She raised all numbers of animals from chickens to butcher steers, but the goats were her favorite.
Somehow she found the time to return to school for Accounting and began working for the Arkins Water Association. She loved working for Arkins. To supplement her income she started driving a school bus for the Thompson School District, and even after so many years, she would run into the grown versions of the kids that she drove back and forth to school. She always recognized them and they her, which meant for very long visits in the grocery store!
Eventually she was given the opportunity to work in the Payroll Department of the school district by Doctor Saul which she held for the next 20 years.
In 1987 she married the absolute love of her life, Terry Fowler, and gained another son.
In 2008 they were ready to retire so they nestled into their beautiful hillside home and dedicated themselves full-time to enjoying retirement life with their friends and family, dogs, cats, and chickens that laid an occasional egg.
Deanna was a force of nature. You always knew exactly where you stood with her and if you wanted, or sometimes needed an honest opinion, she would be happy to oblige. She was tough but was also a fierce and loyal friend. Once she took you under her wing, there was no safer place to be.
When her children were growing up all of their friends could count on her for counsel, support or a swift kick in the butt and a haircut. They called her Mama D and many still do until this day.
Deanna was met with her share of life’s challenges, but she always said, “As long they can replace it or make it work again, it beats the hell out the alternative.”
She is preceded in death by her father Bud ’67, nephew Alan ’84, mother Julia ’96, sis Dona ’04, and friends she loved like sisters, Mags and Brigetta.
She is survived by, and leaves holes in the hearts of her devoted and loving husband Terry Fowler, sons Doug Byczek and Todd Fowler, daughters Daria Patterson, Narda (Dave Poeschl) and Nancy Byczek and Diana Fowler. Her grandchildren, Hannah and Zachary Patterson, Joni Adams, Ryan and Steven Fowler, Barb and Chris Scarsi and Jason and Jessica Bonsante, and her great-grandchildren, Jackson, Elle Jo, Henry, Maggie, Dacia and Janessa will all miss her as they continue life without her strong presence and influence.
Her brothers Jerry (Cindy) Wildberger and Rick (Leora) Wildberger, too many nieces and nephews to mention here, but all were loved and adored by Deanna.
Her neighbors Ron and Denise Richter whom she loved like her own children, her life-long friends Janet, Judy, Jeanie, her faithful friends Phyllis Thompson, Shirley Wertz and Cindy Simkowski, all of whom she loved beyond words.
Special thanks to Doctor Saul and Randy Zila and an extraordinary thank you to the nurses and doctors at the Medical Center of the Rockies.
In lieu of flowers please make donations to the VFW #41 in Loveland Colorado.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Clausen’s McC Ranch, 12425 North County Road 27 on Saturday, August 4, 2018 at 1:00 in the afternoon.