Robert Lee Fowlkes

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Robert Lee Fowlkes

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February 25, 1926 - December 31, 2023
Surrounded by the love from his family, Robert Lee “Bob” Fowlkes passed peacefully into the presence of his Savior on December 31, 2023.

Bob was born February 25, 1926, to Oscar Marshall and Georgia Pauley Fowlkes in Griffithsville, West Virginia. He was raised in the beautiful Appalachians where he learned skills that he carried with him throughout his life.

Finishing high school at 16 years of age, he traveled to Kentucky to further his education at Berea College. He joined the Navy in 1943 and was a submariner aboard the USS Cochino. He met the love of his life, Margaret Flora Gadd, on the Washington Street bridge in Charleston, West Virginia while he was on leave.

They married on January 1, 1947, and moved to Berea where he could finish college with a degree in Chemistry. They moved to Knoxville TN where they had their first child. After moving back to West Virginia, two more children were born. The small family moved to Florida when Bob took a job with Chemstrand Corporation. After three more children were born, Milton is where they made their home.

Bob was one of the fortunate who had a career in what he loved to do. He was a true scientist and inventor. He built a basement in the family home and set up a lab there to try out ideas and processes. When he retired from Air Products, he built his own lab and started a business, SLI Technologies. And later, with his son Alex, built a larger lab which he continued to work in until he was 90 years old.

Bob was known for his dry wit and one-liners. His sparkling blue eyes and infectious smile warmed the hearts of all who knew him best. He loved his family most, as evidenced by the legacy he left behind. He belonged to the body of Christ and worshipped at First Baptist Church of Milton. He preserved Sundays for God and family. He continued to watch his church’s service online when he became unable to attend in person.

He has been welcomed home by these that went before him: his wife, Margaret Gadd Fowlkes; his son, Tad Robert Fowlkes; his parents, Oscar Marshall and Georgia Pauley Fowlkes; his brothers, Oscar Marshall Fowlkes and Melvin Pauley Fowlkes; and his sister Charlotte Fowlkes Jones.

He is survived by his children, Niles Fowlkes of Roslindale, MA, Gregg Fowlkes (Brenda) of Jacksonville, Linda Fowlkes of Milton, Alex Fowlkes (Lisa) of Milton, and Leslie Leggett (Greg) of Milton; Two daughters-in-law: Linda Fowlkes of Oviedo and Donna Fowlkes of Bagdad; Ten grandchildren: Nichol Forte, Tara Buman (Brandon), Alessa Fowlkes (Nathan), Alex Fowlkes, Jr. (Kelsey), Cameron Fowlkes (Cindy), Leah Jacobs (JC), Perry Fowlkes (Cynda), Cody Leggett (Taylor), Luke Leggett, Jake Leggett (Jessica); Twelve great-grandchildren: Heather Forte, Adelae Fowlkes, Zachary Fowlkes, Noah Fowlkes, Kira Whiteman, Mason Bounpaseuth, Jackson Fowlkes, Elowen Buman, Emma Jacobs, Emerson Leggett, Elora Buman, and Avery Fowlkes; Nephews: Marshall Jones, Lewis Jones, and George Walters; and a niece: Sandy Anderson.

The pallbearers will be his grandsons: Alex Fowlkes, Jr., Cameron Fowlkes, Perry Fowlkes, Cody Leggett, Luke Leggett, and Jake Leggett. Honorary pallbearers will be Marshall Jones, Lewis Jones, George Cooper, Greg Gillis, Lamar and Sissy Faulkner, and Thad and Debbie Pace. ... ee-fowlkes
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