William R. Stowell, Teacher for 30 Years

Nov. 3, 1941-March 23, 2018
William R. Stowell Nov. 3, 1941-March 23, 2018

William R. Stowell of DeLand, Fla., an elementary school teacher for 30 years and East Hampton native, died on March 23 at Florida Hospital DeLand. He was 76 and had been ill for a year.

Mr. Stowell was born in East Hampton on Nov. 3, 1941, the only child of the former Eileen Fisher and Kenneth G. Stowell. He graduated from East Hampton High School in 1958 and earned a certificate in elementary education at the State University at Geneseo. He and his family spent summers in Morris, N.Y., during his childhood and it was there that he met his future wife, the former Joan Stark of Oneonta, N.Y. They settled in Morris after marrying in 1973 and brought up their children there. In addition to teaching, he was an owner of the Morris Auction Gallery.

Mr. Stowell taught for a while in Worcester, N.Y., and then taught at the New Berlin (N.Y.) Central School. His family said he was active in the community and involved with many nonprofit groups, including the Morris Rotary Club, which gave him the Paul Harris Award for his time and energy. In Florida, he assisted a church-sponsored organization, Grace and Grits, which fed the homeless. 

He also worked to preserve historical buildings in Lane’s Cove, Mass., a part of Gloucester, by lobbying local government and actually working on the restoration of a building known as the Fish Shack, where a memorial will be held. He had spent summers in Lane’s Cove, lobstering and fishing. In 2005, the couple took their trawler-style, 54-foot boat to Florida, ultimately settling in DeLand. They made a trip to East Hampton every year to visit friends, usually at New Year’s, their son Richard Stowell of Orlando, Fla., said. 

In addition to his widow and son, Mr. Stowell is survived by two other sons, John Stowell of Upper Marlboro, Md., and William (Chip) Stowell Jr. of Zephyrhills, Fla., and four grandchildren.

Mr. Stowell was cremated. There will be a memorial service on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Light Walkers Church, 193 County Highway 49, in Morris, with the Rev. Gary Norman officiating. A reception will follow at the Grove of Butternut Valley, which is next to the church. There will be a second memorial on June 9 at 2 p.m. at the Lane’s Cove Fish Shack, followed by a flotilla to spread his ashes off Doughty (Sunset) Point.

The family has suggested donations to the Morris Rotary Club, P.O. Box 414, Morris 13808. Friends can leave condolences online at johnstonfh.com.