Janet (Fields) Marks Fowler


Janet (Fields) Marks Fowler

October 7, 1925 – February 13, 2009

Janet Marks Fowler

Janet Marks Fowler

On Friday, February 13, 2009 Dorothy Janet Marks Fowler, known to her friends as Janet Marks of Guyandotte, went peacefully to be with her Lord and Savior after suffering from congestive heart failure.  She died holding the hands of her beloved children Gary Marks and Bobbi Lynn Marks Goad at the Evergreen Hospice Center of Kirkland, Washington.  As in her life, Janet’s death was filled with grace, love and holy humility.

 Janet was known for her quiet, caring spirit and her incredible artistic talent.  Always giving and never expecting anything in return she loved unconditionally.  Many will remember her paintings on the picture window of her Bridge Street house in Guyandotte every holiday delighting those who passed by.  An original mural by Janet still graces the Guyandotte Public Library’s Children’s Section.  She also created many oil paintings, made doll clothes, Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls to give to children, arranged flowers for school and church and had time for always being a loving housewife; cooking daily meals from scratch and making sure her children and husband had all of their needs met.  She never complained once and continually found joy in her life’s work.  And although she didn’t always get the respect and love she deserved in return, she forgave unselfishly and loved unconditionally without a second thought.

 She had a strong Christian faith and was devoted to her church.  This faith never wavered and she died without and fear end even gave joy in that moment with her peaceful smile and tight hand squeezes.

 At her church she would bake rolls for dinners and provide decorations for the tables.  She was constantly creating and giving.  She was a member of First Guyandotte Baptist Church and later joined Seventh Avenue Baptist Church of Huntington, WV.  Later in life both she and her husband, John, worshipped privately at home; faithfully observing communion and regular prayer and bible study.  She would welcome anyone into her loving care following the teachings of Jesus.  There is one known instance where she gave the coat off her back to a young woman who was cold, poor and in need.  She only admitted this when the coat was noticed missing.  Janet followed the Gospel of Jesus without ever having to show her faith to anyone.  Her life was the example of Christ.

 Born in New Boston, Ohio, she was the second daughter of the late Ora and Walter Fields of Lesage, WV.  She married John J. Marks Sr. and celebrated 57 years together before his sudden death in July, 2003.  She is survived by three sons, John J. Marks, Jr., Robert S. Marks, both of Huntington, WV, Gary A. Marks of Bothell, Washington, and one daughter, Bobbi Lynn Marks Goad of Huntington, who was her grandchild and adopted by John and Janet when she was young after abandonment by her parents.  Bobbi’s friends affectionaltely know Janet as “Gran”.  She was also known as “hotrod Gran” for her humerous “peeling out” of school parking lots to look cool for Bobbi’s friends.

 She spent the last few months of her life happily living in Gary’s home near Seattle, Washington, who gladly cared for her until she was lovingly entrusted to the physical care of Evergreen Hospice.  She spent two days in the Hospice facility in room number 13 before going to her reward on Friday, February the 13th.  She always had a sly, playful sense of humor!

 Over the years Janet remained in touch with her childhood friend, Dr. Nolan Fowler, well known historian, athlete and constitutional scholar.  Dr. Fowler was Professor of History at Tennessee Technical University in Cookeville, Tennessee.  They knew each other from a very young age when they attended the one room school house at Nine Mile Road in Lesage, WV, where Nolan was a fellow student, neighbor, friend and mentor.  In their later years, after the passing of their spouses, Nolan and Janet became companions for one another and married on Valentine’s Day, 2005, and she pulled up roots and moved to Cookeville, Tennessee.  Dr. Fowler Passed away on October 6, 2008, just one day before Janet’s 83rd birthday.  They had a wonderful relationship in their later life.

 Janet would light up the room with her smile whenever she would see one of her friends or loved ones.  She was especially fond of her Nephew, Walter Michael Zulandt, currently of Baltimore, MD, whom she also “adopted” as her own son after his mother’s passing.

 Janet Marks Fowler is now among the saints in heaven having regained her memory after a long bout with dementia.  Her memory clear and pain relieved, she smiles upon all her friends and children with that wonderful humble and self sacrificing spirit of unselfish love.  She will be greatly missed.

 There will be a memorial service for Janet to be held at Seventh Avenue Baptist Church this Spring.  Announcements for this service will be made through church contacts or by contacting Gary Marks via email at garymarks@verizon.net.  Her cremated remains will be interred next to her husband, John, at the family cemetery plot in Rome, Ohio. 

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Evergreen Hospice Center, Kirkland, Washington, or their local Hospice in Janet’s name for the support of elderly people dying without regular care and support of loving children or spouses.