In Passing

Eugene (Gene) Fowler

Eugene (Gene) Fowler

Gene Fowler passed away on Dec. 22, 2021. He was born on July 12, 1933, and grew up in San Francisco, Calif. Gene and his brother Richard had lots of adventures there and in Madison, Wisc., and their stepsister Barbara (Bobbie) was like a little mother to them. Gene joined the U.S. Navy in San Francisco when he was 17 and was transferred to San Diego for his training. He met his wife, Enid, who had emigrated from Yorkshire, England the previous year, at a folk dance class there in 1951, and they danced together for over 68 years in many different parts of the world.

Gene had his training at the Naval Training Center in San Diego and was transferred to North Island Naval Air Station, where he was trained to fly in Navy jets from the Aircraft Carrier USS Bairoko during the Korean War. Although one jet plane he was flying in went off the edge of the ship when trying to land one time, he survived and made it back to San Diego in one piece.

After serving four years in the Navy, Gene worked for an aircraft company for a while prior to attending San Diego State University and earning a PhD in special education, as he wanted to teach children who needed special education classes. He married Enid in June of 1953, following which they had two sons, Gene Stewart and Derek, who loved to play soccer. Following his Scottish heritage, Gene was elected the Chief of Clan Cameron in San Diego and played the snare drum and bass drum for the Cameron Highlanders Bagpipe Band for a number of years. He taught school for 35 years, and in 1991, he was awarded a Fulbright Exchange Teacher scholarship and taught special education classes in England for a year as an exchange teacher.

He and Enid retired and came to SaddleBrooke in 2005. He enjoyed the tennis and other sports, and they both enjoyed dancing (ballroom, Latin, folk dancing, and Scottish and English country dancing) very much and danced together for more than 68 years. Gene served on the SaddleBrooke Patrol for a number of years and was called “Officer Friendly,” as he loved to brighten people’s days with his funny jokes, and he was still telling his jokes until his death.

In addition to his wife, Enid, Gene is survived by his son Gene Stewart Fowler; his brother Richard and Joyce Fowler of Surprise, Ariz.; stepsister Barbara and Stan Culligan of Prescott, Ariz.; and stepbrothers Doug and David Fowler. His son Derek Fowler pre-deceased him, in addition to his parents, stepsister Karyl, and stepbrother Chris.

Rita Loeffel Giammarino

Rita Loeffel Giammarino

We regretfully announce Rita Loeffel Giammarino, 70, of SaddleBrooke, Ariz., passed away on Jan. 1, 2022, after an extended illness.

Rita was born at Camp Carson, Colorado Springs, Colo., on Jan. 2, 1951, to Lupe R. and Walter Loeffel. Rita was predeceased by her parents and brother, Jimmy Loeffel. She was married to Joseph F. Giammarino on Aug. 9, 1974, in Wheaton, Ill.

She is survived by Joe, her husband of 47 years; her sister, Kathryn Noble of Colorado Springs, Colo.; her nephews, Chad and Eric Sanchez of Colorado Springs, Colo.; and great-niece, Cassie Sanchez of Colorado Springs, Colo. She loved planting flowers and nurturing them indoors and outdoors. She also loved her two chihuahuas, Isabella and Sunny.

We will truly miss her.

You may make a donation to the SaddleBrooke Pet Rescue Network in her honor as an alternative to flowers.

John William Thomas

John William Thomas

John William Thomas was born on May 7, 1937, in Glenview, Ill. He was the oldest of four boys born to Dorothy and Jack Thomas. He attended Lake Forest College on an academic scholarship and graduated from there in 1959. He later received his master’s degree in chemical engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology. He had a long and illustrious career as a pharmaceutical operations manager where he was on the team that developed NutraSweet.

John met Sue Lone during their college years at Lake Forest, and the two of them were married on Sept. 17, 1960. John had his first job in Chicago where Sue also found her calling as a registered nurse. They had two boys, Jonathan and Jeffrey, in 1963 and 1966, respectively. The four of them moved from Chicago to Caracas, Venezuela, for John’s job in 1974. They had many adventures in South America during the time they lived there. They moved back to the States and settled in Chicago, Kansas City, and Boston before John retired in 1995. John’s job allowed them to live and travel to some interesting and incredible places. After John’s retirement, they settled in Saddlebrooke, Ariz., where they met many lifelong friends and enjoyed golf, cards, and socializing. John and Sue were married for 58 years before Sue’s death in 2018.

John passed away suddenly on Jan. 23, 2022, in Saddlebrooke. He is survived by his son Jonathon (Cyndi) Thomas, his son Jeffrey (Peg) Thomas, and seven grandchildren.

John, known as Pops by his family, was an avid golfer, intrepid traveler, and wicked card player. He will be missed by many, but mostly by his loving family.

There was a Memorial Mass at Santa Catalina Catholic Church on Feb. 5 at 10 a.m. with a reception at SaddleBrooke Country Club immediately following.