Caroline Marie Fowler, 82, died early Friday morning, October 9, 2020. She entered the Church Triumphant to forever be in the presence of her Lord Jesus Christ with the whole company of heaven.
Caroline was predeceased by her mother and father, Dr. Joseph and Thelma Fowler; her brother Dr. Donald Fowler; her first husband, Wehland G. Steenken (divorced); and second husband, William Brumfield.
She is survived by her older brother, Dr. Andrew Fowler and his wife Nina Fowler, Georgetown, Texas; her three children, Kimberly Steffen and Dr. Renie Johnston, Fayetteville, NC, and Wehland Gordon Steenken, Easton, PA. Her grandchildren include Wesley Steffen of Topsail, NC; Rheanna Winkler, Fayetteville, NC; Rhyan Johnston of LaPlata, MD; Luke Steffen, Ft. Drum, NY; and Rehland Johnston of Fayetteville, NC; and Cody Hess of Gainesville, Texas. She had one infant great-grandchild Olen Winkler.
Caroline was born on June 10, 1938, to Dr. Joseph Fowler and Thelma Collins Fowler in Temple, Texas, Bell County. She graduated from Killeen High School in 1956. She married her high school sweetheart, Wehland Garnet Steenken (Mike), in 1957 and started their life together as an Army couple. They moved very often and were stationed most often at Fort Bragg (four times) and Ft Sam Houston (at least three times). They were stationed in Okinawa during our withdrawal from Viet Nam.
They left the Army to complete their educations at the University of Texas at Arlington. Caroline received her Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics with a teaching license in 1964. After a short while in Corpus Christi, Mike and Caroline decided to go back into the Army. After two yearlong deployments to Viet Nam and several other moves, they went to graduate school at East Texas State University, where she earned her Master of Science in Mathematics in 1971.
Caroline was teaching math at Fayetteville State University when a soldier/student asked her to come to work as a civil servant out at Ft. Bragg. So began her career as a computer systems analyst. Her career took her to Virginia and Maryland, and back to San Antonio, to Washington State, to Korea and Germany. She moved from working as a civil servant to defense contractors, E-Systems, Raytheon, and others. She retired from Hewlett- Packard in 2007 and moved to Fayetteville to be closer to her daughters.
Caroline loved God and the church. She loved her children and grandchildren very much. And Caroline loved playing the piano from a young age and began playing for the organ churches before starting high school. She played for the chaplain services at many Army posts, including Ft. Bragg. She loved Piano for Tchaikovsky. She loved to dance and won many ballroom dance competitions. Caroline loved patterns and puzzles especially crosswords and then, later in life, sudoku. Her brain was always working on some problem. She also loved to crochet. For her, the more intricate the pattern, the better she liked it. She always seemed to be working with her crochet hook even in her sleep.
Caroline was diagnosed with unspecified dementia seven years ago. It was a long decline, and her death was mercifully sudden. We are grateful to our mother’s caregivers Donna Tappenden, Lisa Hosea, Aimee Dunlap, Windy Young, Carolyn Pendergraft over the past year, and her hospice care with Health Keepers.
The visitation with the family is scheduled from 2 to 3 pm, and the funeral will be from 3 to 4 pm on Sunday, October 18, at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1605 Van Buren Ave., Fayetteville, NC 28303. We will be practicing social distancing. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to: Our Redeemer Lutheran Church or Duke Neurology Alzheimer's Disease Research 3916988, Duke Health Development Attn: Whitney Martin, 300 West Morgan Street, Suite 1200, Durham, NC 27701; Online donations can be made via https://www.gifts.duke.edu/dmaa
Type in the box: Duke Neurology Alzheimer's Disease Research 3916988
Funeral arrangements by Jernigan-Warren Funeral Home, 545 Ramsey St. Fayetteville, N.C. 28301
Online condolences may be made at http://www.jerniganwarren.com
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