Robert H. "Bo" Fowler Jr. , maintenance worker, dies

Robert "Bo" Fowler was an animal lover who volunteered with the Feline Rescue Association.

Robert H. “Bo” Fowler Jr., a private school maintenance worker who enjoyed playing Santa Claus for children, died Friday from heart failure at Sinai Hospital. The Parkville resident was 66.

Robert Hamilton Fowler Jr. was born in Baltimore and spent the first 12 years of his life in Harford County before moving with his family in 1964 to Glyndon. He was the son of Robert H. Fowler Sr., manager of the Green Spring Valley Hunt Club, and his wife, Pauline Fowler, a homemaker.


Mr. Fowler, who was a graduate of Franklin High School, began his maintenance career at Lockheed Martin Corp. in Middle River. He later went to work at the old Valley Academy in Towson, which later merged with the Jemicy School and relocated to Owings Mills.

Mr. Fowler, who worked at Jemicy for 18 years, had not retired at his death.


“He was known there as a supportive colleague and friend, as well as a mentor to students,” said a daughter, Erin Scarpulla, of Parkville. “He also helped start the music program there and played in the faculty band.”

A bass guitarist, during the 1990s he played with the Common Bond, a local band, writing more than 100 songs, his daughter said.

His favorite performers were the Beatles, Eric Clapton and Yes, she said.

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An outdoorsman, he enjoyed vacationing with his family at Lost River State Park in Mathias, W.Va.

In 2009, Mr. Fowler, then wearing a fake beard, which he later replaced with a real one, began playing Santa Claus, and enjoyed making children happy.

An avid Ravens fan, he soon started working as a Purple Santa, as well as volunteering at many of the team’s events.

Mr. Fowler, who was an animal lover, volunteered with the Feline Rescue Association and often brought home injured wildlife, which he nursed back to health. He also volunteered with numerous other organizations, some of which included the 53 Families Foundation and Angels of Addiction.

When his two daughters were growing up, he coached their recreation council’s softball team.


Plans for a celebration of life gathering to be held at the Jemicy school in June are incomplete.

In addition to his daughter, he is survived by his wife of 17 years, the former Toni Kerpelman; another daughter, Rebecca Demski of Delran, N.J.; and a stepson, Josh Fowler of Reisterstown; a brother, Kelly Fowler of Hanover, Pa.; and a sister, Fay Fowler Gross of Westminster. Another stepson, Jessie Elkins, died in 2006. An earlier marriage to the former Bonnie Cunningham ended in divorce.