Another passing: Great Aunt Ludmilla
Ludmilla Fowler (Tolomizenko) 1947
My family is really big on my dad's side. I learned more about my great aunt, a Ukrainian refugee/post-war bride from my second cousin. He wrote a sweet email just before her passing, which I'll share here. Farewell, Ludmilla, you touched many lives.
(robert allen's email below)
"In the midst of our sweet aunt millie's failing health, we should reflect on the history of the fowler family that began with a small wedding of chester lloyd fowler and winifred hughes at the episcopal church in manitou springs, colorado 100 years ago in 1908. having 4 children in colorado springs, ralph, helen, george, and florence, chet and winnie moved north 160 miles to a windswept railroad town in the fall of 1917, renting a home at 311 e 18th st, and choosing the methodist church as their place of worship. in 1918, tragedy struck with the drowning of 16 month old florence, but along came 3 more sons--john, warren and eddie.
helen and the boys grew up, married, and soon there were more fowlers than chet and winnie could have ever imagined. as a 6-year-old boy in 1952, our living room at 818 w first avenue (in Wyoming) was like a happy parade, with lots of smiling people coming in and going out at all times of the year. let's see, there was grandma raper, chet, winnie, ralph, mary, helen, bart, george, ila, john, betty, warren, millie, eddie, mary ann, billy, a new chet, karen, chuchie, tim, judy, helen, charlotte, joann, and eventually kenny and eddie's kids. how was i supposed to remember all these names? i can only imagine what my dear dad bart must have thought of all of this? he actually loved them all but i know he shook his head from time to time. as the fowler family grew exponentially in the 1940's, it tapered off in the 50's and sadness and death became a reality.
One by one, these people who laughed and partied and loved each other as i looked up from my small living room floor, began to disappear from earth. grandma raper, chet, mary, warren, betty, bart, winnie, john, george, ralph, the new chet, helen, ila and now millie is knocking on st peter's door. Of the original generations above us, only uncle eddie and millie are left. it helps if you believe in a life hereafter, but it doesn't eliminate the sadness. i feel sadness right now. i miss all of them, especially my mom and dad.
Ludmilla tolomizenko was a gorgeous ukrainian refugee who met us army officer warren fowler in post war europe and they married in linz, austria about 1947. no doubt apprenhensive about meeting all the fowler inl laws, she did it and was accepted unconditionally. they had a darling daughter joann and our allen family of 5 drove from cheyenne, wyoming, in a 1947 pontiac all the way to harrisburg, pennsylvania in june of 1952 to see them. altho very happy at that time, uncle warren was already struggling with the horrific diease of alcoholism. it would lead to unhappiness, divorce, loss of freedom, and early death. but we all loved uncle warren and aunt millie very much, perhaps more than ever. our lifes have been blessed to know both of you...."