David Abbott Fowler, 53, beloved husband, son, brother and friend, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, February 18th due to complications from pneumonia. Preceded in death by his father, William J. Fowler and sister, Mary C. Harp, he is survived by wife, Marilou his partner and devoted caregiver of 23 years, mother, Patricia C. Fowler, sister, Patricia & husband John Kneten, brother, John J. Fowler, nephew, William Harp and many other family and friends.
David enlisted in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne. In 1984, he was injured in a diving accident, resulting in quadriplegia. From this tragedy, he crafted a new life of volunteerism and advocacy which led to extensive travel and deep friendships.
An insightful and passionate disability leader in Texas and nationally, David served as the National Vice President for the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) and the President of the Texas Chapter of the PVA. He sat on the Texas Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities, the Houston Commission on Disabilities, as well as the United Airlines Accessible Travel Advisory Board. He championed legislation for those with disabilities, especially veterans with disabilities and mentored others who wished to do the same.
Refusing to let his wheelchair define him or prevent him from living a full and meaningful life, David participated in the National Veterans Wheelchair Games for over 20 years, competing in bowling, power soccer, slalom, wheelchair races and power relay events. Thanks to other adaptive programs, he was able to ski, fish, hunt and even skydive. Admired for his zest for life, ever-present smile, positive attitude, and powerful commitment to making a difference, David inspired all who knew him.