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Hero Down: Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler Dies After Battling Cancer

Weatherford, TX – Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler died on Feb. 27 while surrounded by his wife and family, according to his department.

“Parker County mourns the tragic loss of our beloved sheriff, Larry L. Fowler,” the Parker County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) said in a Facebook post later that day. “He passed from this life and entered into the presence of our Lord at the age of 82.”

During his successful bid for re-election in October of 2020, Sheriff Fowler acknowledged having undergone a double lung transplant just over three years earlier, the Weatherford Democrat reported.

“I’ve been through a lot — I’ve had a double lung transplant — and it’s cancer-related and right now we’ve got it at bay,” the sheriff said ahead of the election. “I’m not going to say that I work every day but I try to take care of business every day and of course it has slowed me down, which I’m not real fond of. I used to have two speeds, fast and stop, and I’ve got a little more stop now but I can still operate the sheriff’s office to the degree just like we’ve always done.”

“As long as I am physically able, I will continue to serve,” he added.

Prior to embarking on his law enforcement career, Sheriff Fowler “proudly served” four years in the U.S. Navy, where he worked on jet aircraft aboard the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier, the PCSO said.

He began his lifelong law enforcement career in 1963, according to his obituary.

“His moral standards and commitment to excellence quickly became the path of every law enforcement officer who served under him,” the tribute read.

Sheriff Fowler served with the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office, the Weatherford Police Department, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Parker County District Attorney’s Office prior to being elected as the sheriff of the PCSO in 2004.

He remained at the helm of the PCSO until his death.

“He was born to serve his community and did so beyond the expectation of his constituents,” his obituary read. “Larry truly possessed a servant’s heart by dedicating his energy to numerous local charities and organizations, receiving several awards and recognitions for his service.”

“He believed the strength of our community lies within the heart of its volunteers, and he practiced what he preached,” the tribute continued. “He made certain his children and his employees followed suit, paving the way by example. His word was his oath, which reflected his ethic – tough yet compassionate.”

Sheriff Fowler had an open-door policy with his employees and was a beloved leader.

“He gave credit where it was due, and his compliments were always sincere and memorable,” his obituary read.

Sheriff Fowler helped establish numerous divisions, units and collaborations with neighboring agencies during his tenure, and his innovative approach helped improve law enforcement services to the citizens.

The Parker County Justice Center was renamed in his honor in January of 2017, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

Sheriff Fowler was stunned when it was revealed during a surprise ceremony that the building would be known as the Larry Fowler Law Enforcement Center.

“I am blessed to have so many good people to work with here in our department,” he said after learning of the name change, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Improving public safety is our number one goal, always has been and always will…I am truly humbled by this honor.”

Sheriff Fowler leaves behind his wife, Gail, as well as his three children, four grandchildren, and his great-grandson.

He was laid to rest on Friday.

“To those who served under him, he leaves his legacy and traditions,” his obituary read.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

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Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Avatar Written by Holly Matkin

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