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Osa Fowler--
A Treasury Of Knowledge
by Helen Morris

Updated on Wednesday*:

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Osa Fowler does her own cleaning, shopping and food preparation, which is amazing since she will celebrate her 89th birthday in November.

She had no health problems before the age of 80, but since that time she has had cancer, a seven-week hospital stay, broken hip, and shingles.

She is positive, cheerful and an inspiration to those who know her. She is full of historical information about the Steer Creek area of the county, but says her sister Treacy knew “everything.”

Treacy wrote several articles for the Chronicle about the early residents along the Little Kanawha River.

Osa was born at Apple Farm, the daughter of George and Bessie Stump Wilson. Bessie was the daughter of Johnson and Annie Godfrey Stump and great-granddaughter of Michael Stump IV.

Osa's parents, George and Bessie Stump Wilson.

While George was recovering from an injury, his employer, stonemason Joe Janiero, left for North Carolina, where he was later killed in a rock slide. Osa’s father went to North Carolina for the funeral and the family gave him a picture of Joe.

Osa’s brothers and sisters were Treacy, Reacy (died as infant), Hugh, Bessie, Eda, Donnie, Luke, Mary, Henry (killed while serving in World War II), and Rolley (still living).

All of the Wilson children attended Rush Run School. Osa did housework and child care for neighbors.

She said, “My words of advice for young people now is, ‘learn to work and do your best. Know how to do many different jobs’.”

She married Loman “Wood” Fowler in 1938 at the Pleasant Hill parsonage with Pastor Mike Gherke officiating.

The first 17 years of married life were on Steer Creek, where they were long-time members of Rush Run Baptist Church. The next 17 years were spent in the Riddle house near the Rush Run bridge. They moved to the Simpson home at Russett, where Wood died in 1993.

Osa has resided in her Grantsville home for the past eight years, but still has ties to the Russett-Rush Run area where she has also been a long- time member of the church and of Rush Run CEOS.

Her quilts are works of art, with brilliant colors and excellent craftsmanship. Since moving to Grantsville, she goes to the Senior Citizens Center for quilting and bingo.

Osa has always had knowledge of heritage-type plants, and has a small garden and a window full of unusual cacti.

Sally Kerby Albaugh, who grew up near Osa, said, “I still continue to seek her advice when I have an ailing plant. Her favorite plants were bleeding heart, primrose, columbine and snowballs, the old fashioned kind.”

One of Osa's unusual outdoor plants.

Just one of Osa's Cacti.

Albaugh also tells of the Fowler home always being a favorite place for church and community picnics and hot dog roasts. The home had a big yard and young people would gather on Sunday afternoons for ball games and john boat rides. Sally also spoke of her love of cats, especially the white ones.

Osa’s sons, Randall and Mike, are avid supporters of her independence. Mike checks in every Wednesday and Randall on Friday. They come for a Mom’s love, good home cooked meals, and to work on a “honey do list.”

Stories were told of their friends who were at the Fowler home more than their own. Some of the regular gang were Tim Hall, J.E. Hensley, Bill Nicholson, Linda and Nancy Blankenship, and Sally and Sam Kerby.

When asked about his favorite meal, Randall emphatically said, “Meatloaf!” Mike’s answer was “Meatloaf and potatoes of any kind, especially Mom’s mashed potatoes.”

Randall is married to the former Barbara Greathouse. They have two daughters, Brenda and Beth Ann. Beth Ann is married to Tom Parsons.

Mike married the former Sherry Evans. They have two children, Candy, married to Dave McClung, and David, married to Renee Mullenix.

Both sons are retired from DuPont.

Osa Fowler is adamant about not wanting “to be a bother to anybody.” She is a treasure that is still used by God on this earth. How could she be a bother to anyone?

The following recipes are given according to Osa’s verbal instructions. She has written recipes, but usually cooks from memory.

Randall’s Meatloaf

1 lb. ground chuck              

1 egg                                   

salt and pepper                   

1/2 cup bread crumbs         

1 tsp. accent                        

milk to moisten

Mike’s Mashed Potatoes

Home grown potatoes

butter or margarine

salt and pepper


evaporated milk to moisten.

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