“She was one of the best people I have met in my lifetime,” says Elizabeth “Lisa” Fowler’s friend Janice Scott. “I just cannot believe she is gone. She was like a mother to me.”
Fowler, who died April 3, is remembered by her friends and loved ones as “loud and proud,” quick to stand up for those she cared about and be there for them.
“It didn’t matter what hard times Lisa had or went through,” says her aunt, Lyn Fowler, “she never complained, and she always had a hug for everybody, not just a smile, she had a hug.”
Lisa Fowler was known, loved and respected around the homeless community, says Melissa Swick, who met Fowler in December 2018 at the St. Vincent de Paul’s Dusk to Dawn homeless campsite on Highway 99. Swick works there and sometimes plays her music for the unhoused clients, watching them “dance and have some joy,” even just for a short time.
After they met, Swick says, she realized that Fowler was the “tía” to her boyfriend’s daughter. The Spanish term for aunt comes from Fowler’s time in Southern California, Swick says. “She loved her kids and new grandbabies,” she says. “She loved the Dallas Cowboys.”
Lyn Fowler says her niece had a big heart and a kind heart, “and she’d give anybody anything even if she didn’t have much.”
Scott says she first met Lisa Fowler years ago living in Junction City, but didn’t know her well at the time. They came to know each other later. She says she called Fowler her “walker stalker” after each of them started to use a walker, and they ran into each other, everywhere, all the time.
Fowler defended her friends, Scott says, even fought for them. “Rarely was she mad, but when she was, watch out.”
Scott adds, “She was a really awesome person. If you needed a shoulder to cry on, she was there, but she was gonna tell you how it was, no matter what.” There was no beating around the bush at all with Lisa, she says. “She was most definitely a straightforward type of person.”
Fowler struggled with alcoholism and cirrhosis of the liver, according to those who knew her. “Even though Lisa knew her time was limited,” Scott says, “she always remained in good spirits.” She was “a happy, energetic go-lucky type of gal” who was always joking and happy.
Scott says, “All anybody ever needs to know and remember was how awesome and cool Lisa was.”
Fowler is survived by her family in Junction City and California and by her many friends in the Lane County community.
Eugene Weekly seeks to run an obituary for every person who dies homeless in Lane County in 2021. This is the eighth we’ve published so far. If you know of someone who has died here while homeless this year, please let us know at Editor@EugeneWeekly.com.