He is known to all of us. Clyde Bernard Fowler, best known as “Bernie” was born in Baltimore, grew up in Broomes Island and graduated from Calvert High School. In 1949, he married the “love of his life” Betty, who supported his dedication to his county and country for 69 years until her death last November.
Bernie has been a businessman, Calvert County Commissioner and Maryland State Senator. He spent much of his life as a “guardian of natural resources,” bringing awareness to the water clarity of the Patuxent River and the Chesapeake Bay. He is well-known for his annual “Wade-In” at Jefferson Patterson Park, wading into the Patuxent River to see how far he can go and still see his white tennis shoes.
Many do not know that Bernie served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, receiving the Asiatic-Pacific, American Theatre and Victory Medals. On Sunday, September 8, Quilts of Valor – Faith & Freedom thanked him for this service by presenting him with a quilt created just for him.
Surrounded by his four children, Mona Monsma, Lora Fowler, Betty Forrester and Bernie Fowler, Jr., their spouses and many of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, he was wrapped in his quilt by his oldest daughter while Dee Wunder, a member of Quilts of Valor – Faith & Freedom, read the meaning of the quilt.
“A Quilt of Valor is not an ordinary blanket. The quilt consists of three layers that are secured by many stitches. The top is made of many colors, shapes and fabrics, representing the communities and the many individuals we are. The batting, or filler, in the center of the quilt will provide warmth, representing the hope that this quilt will bring warmth, comfort, peace and healing to the individual that receives it. The strength of the quilt is the backing – representing the strength of the recipient, the support their family has given them and the gratitude of a nation that lives free. Finally, the binding that finishes the quilt, surrounding it on all sides, which represents the hope that the recipient will feel surrounded by love and honor when he is wrapped in the quilt.”
Bernie, who is nursing a leg injury, thanked the group for the honor. The quilt was pieced by Joyce Baki and quilted and bound by Dee Wunder.
Quilts of Valor is a national foundation that began in 2003 as a dream of founder Catherine Roberts, whose son Nat was deployed in Iraq. Her dream became the mission – “to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.”
There are many wars where our service members and veterans were not recognized for their service, and some wars where they were met with distain and criticism. Quilts of Valor quilts are dedicated to comfort all veterans and service members from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Latin America, Desert Storm, Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflicts.
The Faith & Freedom Chapter of Quilts of Valor began in late 2018. Since that time the chapter has presented 35 quilts to service members and veterans, with more to present in the coming weeks.
Quilts of Valor – Faith & Freedom meets twice a month, the second and fourth Sundays of the month, at the Chesapeake Ranch Club Administration Building. During the meetings they work on quilts; plan fundraisers that fund the purchase of fabric, backing and notions; and enjoy each other’s company. They welcome new members! The group is in need of long-arm quilters to assist with quilting many of the quilt tops already done by members.
For more information, visit their Facebook page –https://www.facebook.com/groups/138199543490414/.
For more information on Quilts of Valor visit https://www.qovf.org/.
Please enjoy the pictures of the presentation of the quilt below.
Joyce Stinnett Baki/ Calvert Beacon Reporter