• Conrad Adrian Fowler attends a Cashiers Area Community Planning Council meeting in February. (Photo by Don Richeson.)
    Conrad Adrian Fowler attends a Cashiers Area Community Planning Council meeting in February. (Photo by Don Richeson.)

Loss of Adrian Fowler poignant as Christmas nears

By Nancy McCall / Guest Columnist

CASHIERS -- This is in memory of a Cashiers man who loved Christmas! The man is Conrad Adrian Fowler, known as Adrian in Cashiers.

Adrian and his wife operated Cashiers Hardware store for 37 years and he had the first Christmas tree lot in Cashiers. This was way before “cut and choose” was started. He and his three brothers were the largest tree growers in the area at one time. This is his family’s 54th year in the tree business.

For years, he would cut the trees fresh on the farm and bring them into the hardware store and sell them. When he retired from the store, he started doing cut and choose at the farm.

His nephew, Ron Fowler, still carries on that tradition today on the mountain.

Adrian won a first-place prize for his trees with the North Carolina tree growers association at one time. Adrian loved to see the families come year after year with the children and watch the children grow as they too became parents and continued the tradition.

We are very sad that this year he is not with us to continue experiencing Christmas joy, but is with his heavenly Father celebrating this year. We lost dad on Aug. 24.

Adrian was the son of Fannie Cowan and Edward Fowler and lived here in Cashiers his whole life. He was a very active and left behind many things he had done to help our community today. He graduated from Glenville School and went to serve his country in the Air Force in the Korean War.

He came back and worked hard at the Ecusta in Brevard and met the love of his life, Georgia Ann Reid, whom he took as his wife and they worked hard together to save money, so they could buy out Mr. T.S. Lance, who owned Cashiers Hardware.

Adrian and Georgia Ann raised three daughters and one son.

Adrian and Georgia Ann were members of Cashiers Baptist Church and worked hard while they were able to.

Adrian was instrumental, along with some other good men in Cashiers, to form and start the Cashiers-Glenville Volunteer Fire Department. He also helped to form Glenville-Cashiers Rescue Squad and the ambulance service. He was the rescue squad’s captain for the squad for a few years.

He was very active member of the Lions Club.

He went to Raleigh with some other men and got the first and only N.C. State Highway patrolman stationed here in Cashiers, Robert Allen. Mr. Allen and his family lived in Cashiers after that.

Adrian saw the need to have a bank in Cashiers and talked to different companies until he landed Citizen Bank and Trust’s coming to Cashiers. He sold them the land in front of his hardware store where the Wells Fargo Bank is housed today.

He helped to get the first pharmacy in Cashiers as well. If he saw the need, he tried to get the need met for his little valley hometown.

After dad’s passing, many friends came to our family and wanted us to write about dad’s things he did for the community. Those friends shared stories that he did that we never knew about. The following stories are a few of those things:

• Mike Crow says in about 1964 on Mother’s Day, and he was a young teenager. He saw a wall clock in the hardware store that looked like a pocket watch. He wanted to buy it for his mother but did not have the money for it at the time. He asked dad if he could buy the clock on a charge account and dad said, “Yes.” He opened an account for Mike. They made a payment plan and Mike kept to his word and Adrian kept the account open even after the clock.

Mike says that the clock is still working, and he appreciated dad having the faith in a young boy and giving him a chance. Mike also said he needed a chainsaw and did not have the money to pay for it. Dad let him cut a chestnut rail and swapped the rail for the saw.

• Mr. Charlie Ward was the first captain of the rescue squad and served from 1964 to 1984. He said Adrian Fowler was one of the founding members of the Glenville-Cashiers rescue squad.

Adrian would always leave his hardware store without hesitation to make ambulance runs or other rescue missions. (Charlie) could always count on him to take care of things if he was not available.

Adrian was very supportive of annual fundraising. Adrian was captain from 1984 to 1990. During that time, the ambulance service went from part-time paid EMT to full-time paid EMT. Adrian was a hard worker and a genuine friend.

• Cashiers resident Mark Zachary said, “There are so many things that I want to say, but it is hard to do as I get choked up thinking about him. I miss him a lot by not being at the pharmacy. Adrian led from the front. He was a part of most every good project in the Cashiers area. I had the most contact with him when he was on the squad. He was a leader more than a commander and he had the greatest respect for everyone that he met. He was much of a man. I shall miss him dearly. Our village will be less because of his passing. My life would be less without him in my world.”

His wife, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, in-laws, brothers and sisters all appreciate all of the kind words and love that the community has shown us in our wonderful little “Cashiers Valley,” as Adrian would refer to Cashiers. We also thank the Rev. Trenton Connelly, the Rev. Ralph Campbell, the Rev. Tommy Madden, Connie Hawkins, Verlin Stewart, Marlean Fowler, the Cashiers-Glenville Volunteer Fire Department and the Glenville-Cashiers Rescue Squad for their help in dad’s funeral service and who helped out to carry out dad’s wishes.

(Cashiers resident Nancy McCall, Adrian Fowler’s daughter, wrote the preceding guest column on behalf of Adrian Fowler’s family.)

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