G. Richard Fowles

G. Richard Fowles

Physicist, educator

Richard “Dick” Fowles died Nov. 30, 2013 at Ashley Gardens Memory Care in Mount Vernon, Wash., where he has lived since February of this year. For the previous six years, he resided in Anacortes with Colleen, his wife of 25 years.

Richard was born April 2, 1928 in Glenwood Springs, Colo., to Howard and Phyllis Fowles and raised in Ogden, Utah. He served in the U.S. Navy on a minesweeper at the end of WWII, attended Stanford University, and earned his PhD while working for Stanford Research Institute.

Dick married Dorothy Evans Fowles in 1954. Together they raised four children, stepson John Maxon, daughters Louise Fowles Cook and Kate Fowles Szablya, and son Jeff Fowles.

The family moved to Pullman in 1962, where Richard began his teaching career in physics at Washington State University. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 1975, served a number of years on the National Materials Advisory Board, was a visiting professor at the Australian National University in 1983, and consulted for numerous government labs over the course of his career. He served as Chairman of the Physics Department from 1984 to 1990. His wife Dorothy died in 1987.

Richard and Colleen (Sanger) Fowles were married in 1988 and moved to Orcas Island after Dick’s retirement from WSU in 1995. They built a retirement home and Richard pursued his avocation, guitar building. They enjoyed island life and travels in Europe and New Zealand. Dick served on the Classical Music Committee at the Orcas Community Center.

A true gentleman and scholar, Richard was held in high regard by his students and professional colleagues alike; he will always be remembered by his friends for his kindness.

His special warmth and humor will be missed by all of his family, his brother Howard, and sister, Nancy Favero, his children and stepchildren, including Karla Sanger Rivera, Joe Sanger, and Kristina Sanger Love, his grandchildren and great grandchildren, in-laws, and nieces and nephews.

A memorial service for Richard will be held in April in Anacortes. The family would appreciate donations in his honor to Gentry House Adult Daycare, 1208 7th Street Anacortes, WA 98221.