Dr. James Spurgeon Fowler

March 18, 1929May 15, 2018

Dr. James S. Fowler peacefully passed on to be with his Lord and Savior on May 15, 2018 at his home at the age of 89 years. He is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Maxine Spence Fowler, and his daughters, Ann (Fowler) Rosenberger of Waynesboro, and Joan Fowler of Charlottesville. He was born March 18, 1929 to Carl and Bessie Fowler in Fries, Va., the youngest of six children. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Juanita (Fowler) Vaughn; and brothers Hobart Fowler, Han Fowler, Jack Fowler, and Marvin Fowler. He also leaves behind numerous nieces and nephews.

Jim graduated from Fries High School and attended Emory & Henry College in Va. and Appalachian State Teaching College in Boone, NC. There he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Education in 1951. He returned home to teach science and chemistry at his former high school, and while there he and Maxine became engaged and married in 1953 at Fries Methodist Church. He then decided to continue his education and earned his Master of Education degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Radford, VA in 1957. He became Assistant Principal of Pulaski High School, and welcomed his first child, Ann, while there. The following year the family moved, as he was offered a Principal position at Strasburg High School at the age of only 29. After three years there, he decided to pursue a second career in the optometric field. He earned his Doctor of Optometry from Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, TN in 1963.

Following his graduation, they moved to Waynesboro, where he would join the practice established by Dr. John Bell. The following year his second daughter, Joan was born, and the family was complete. With the support of his wife and children, he built and enjoyed his own successful practice for over forty years. He was a long standing member of the American Optometric Association and the Virginia Optometric Association, which awarded him Optometrist of the Year in 1975 and ultimately the distinction of Fellow. He was selfless in giving his time and service to several local area organizations to benefit the visually and mentally impaired. Most notable of these was with The Lions Club, sustaining an outstanding membership of 60 years.

In his spare time, he was an outdoorsman, avid game hunter, and fisherman, spending many special occasions at camp with his close friends. He also enjoyed playing tennis with his wife and watching various sports. Both were very active in high school and college playing and refereeing basketball and other sports. He loved spending family vacations every year at Virginia Beach and taking a few special trips across the country, as well. He continually offered encouragement and support to his daughters by attending science fairs, dance recitals, and horse shows.

The family will receive friends from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 24, 2018 at the Waynesboro Chapel of Reynolds Hamrick Funeral Homes, 618 W. Main St.

A funeral service will be conducted at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, May 25, 2018 at Main Street United Methodist Church, Waynesboro. Burial will follow in Augusta Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, those desiring may make memorial contributions to The American Heart Association, 4217 Park Place Court, Glen Allen, VA 23060, or the American Lung Association in Virginia, National Processing Center, P.O. Box 7000, Albert Lea, MN 56007-8000.

Relatives and friends may share condolences and memories with the family online by visiting



  • Visitation

    Thursday, May 24, 2018

  • Funeral Service

    Friday, May 25, 2018


  • Interment, Officiating

Memories and condolences

Bring comfort and tell the story of your loved one’s lifetime. Leave a memory, tell a favorite story or share a kind word or condolence.

receive updates

when friends and family add new memories


for sharing memories and condolences