Marie Fowler’s father formed what would become the Brumby Chair Company with his friend, Major Henry Myers. In 1875, James Remley Brumbys’ younger brother, Thomas M. Brumby, joined him in the business and they formed Brumby & Brother. In 1884, the Brumby Chair Co. was incorporated and remains in the family today where they sell the famous handcrafted Brumby rocking chairs.
“(My father) also owned a furniture store on the Square,” Marie said.
Family has always played a significant role in Marie’s life. She was born on July 16, 1913, in a Victorian home located on Cherokee St. (near the historic Marietta Square, north of the Montgomery home) where she lived until she married Bob Fowler.
“I remember when we lived up on Cherokee Street, they just had paved it. That’s when we could play pop the whip up my driveway because we could go out in the street. We played pop the whip on skates,” she said.
Marie was the only daughter of four children born to James Remley Brumby and Marie Massey Brumby.
“We had cows. We had a pig. Daddy thought it was cheaper to have a cow than to buy milk,” Marie said.
She recalled a wonderful community surrounded by families such as the Reads, Tates, Andersons and DuPres. “We had a great neighborhood,” she said.
Marie said the Reads had six boys.
“The Reads had a basketball goal. That’s how I learned to shoot,” said the Marietta High School graduate who played four years of Varsity basketball. “It was really fun.”
“I guess you’d say I was a daddy’s girl. I had a pony. I skated a lot. We just had a great neighborhood to play,” Marie said.
She recalled taking a ride in her cart with a visiting cousin. “I guess we didn’t know how far it was or the distance but we led down Atlanta Road and turned in to what used to be Belmont Hills (in Smyrna). When we got home, my daddy had the whole police force out,” she said.
School activities filled Marie’s early social calendar. “There wasn’t a whole lot to do in Marietta when we got to be teenagers. In high school, I happened to be a cheerleader. I had to go everywhere on Friday for whatever the school activity was,” she said.
Marie’s parents were involved parents.
“Mother and Daddy were always around. They went too. They saw to it that all of us were well entertained (and taken) care of,” she said.
“I enjoyed my teenage years very much. My mother and daddy were very active in it,” she said.
“There wasn’t a whole lot to do back then. We had a put-put golf course and that was about all. My mother would roll back the rugs in the living room so we could dance on the weekends. On Sunday nights, she fed a group of us after Christian Endeavor — chicken a la king and paradise pudding — every Sunday night,” Marie Fowler said.
“(My mother) enjoyed it and boy, the boys loved my mother. They poured out their hearts to my mother. They’d go talk to her by the hour. She enjoyed my teenage years too,” Marie Fowler said.
Although Marie Fowler and her husband grew up together, they ran in different circles.
“I’ve known (Bob) always. But I didn’t date him until the January before we married. He was a lot older than I was,” she said.
Bob took notice of Marie while she was working at the Brumby Chair Company.
“When I married (Bob) he was president of People Financial,” said Marie, a homemaker and mother of Marie Fowler Harrison, Mary Emma Fowler Humphries, and John Robert Fowler III. She has seven grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.
On Sept. 20, 1934, Marie and Bob wed and were married 58 years before he passed away in 1992. The Fowler family lived in a beautiful red brick home that is now People’s Financial Corporation on Church Street across from Rite Aid Pharmacy and WellStar Kennestone Hospital.
“When we married, we moved in a small house next door to (the Fowler home). We lived in that little house 25 years,” Marie said.
Marie and Bob moved to Whitlock Heights where she lived until seven years ago before moving to Winwood Retirement Community.
Marie has been blessed with excellent health.
“I’ve just been plain lucky,” she said. “I’ve had good background. I’ve had good medical attention when I needed it. I’ve been lucky the good Lord’s let me live this long.”
Marie has no intention of slowing down. She loves watching sports, particularly college basketball. She also enjoyed needlepointing as a young woman.
Just last year, she knitted all her great grandchildren sweaters, and she is an avid bridge player. “I have something to do most every day. I play a lot of bridge,” she said.
Marie reigns as the oldest living member of First Presbyterian Church of Marietta where she remains active. She is the oldest living president of the Junior League of Cobb Marietta, and she is a charter member of the Bridal Wreath Garden Club.
Marie says she is especially proud of her family and her children.
“They do a beautiful job, I’ll tell you that, with their families. They’ve got nice families. I’m proud of them all.
“I guess we had a great family life. We still enjoy gathering together,” Marie said.