~~Bill Brower. He was a man who loved life. He had a wonderful sense of humor and playfulness. He was kind & gentle yet strong enough to make you wince if you shook his hand…even in his last days. His grip strength could be considered a metaphor for his life. He held on tight to the very end.
He was born in his family home on April 17, 1917 in Sedgwick, Kansas. His family owned a hog farm & raised champion hogs. He had a heart valve replaced in 2000 & the new valve was a pig valve. He loved to make snorting noises like a pig telling people his surgery was a success & it didn’t change him a bit. Ask us sometime about the trip to the hog barn at the Cal Expo State fair.
When Bill was 7 years old his family moved to southern California. He struggled in school & believed he wasn’t very bright. Not only did he graduate from college, he earned a Masters degree in Education and his final job was as an instructor in a community college.
In 1940 he joined the Los Angeles Police Department where he worked “to protect and to serve” for 20 years until he retired at age 43 in 1960. During those years he met Ardice Fowler through a friend of another policeman. Her first glimpse of him was while he was directing traffic during the Thanksgiving parade. She fell in love with him as he told stories about the juveniles he worked with. He cared so much about the struggles they faced.
During those years they purchased a home in a new subdivision & created a family with four children. He completed his BA at USC & they decided to move to Northern California to raise their family away from the city. They built a home on 4+ acres and had a menagerie of animals. He taught at Cotati elementary school as well as night school in a community college in Law Enforcement. In 1973 he accepted a job at Mendocino Community College to create their Administration of Justice program, moving even farther north. They lived in Ukiah until 1996 when they moved to Minnesota to be near two of their children.
During his 27 years of retirement Bill & Ardy enjoyed traveling, welcomed 1 son & 3 daughters in law. They have 10 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. They feel life has been a blessing.
In 2001 Bill was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and remained at home with Ardy until 2009. He attended Open Circle Adult Day Program then moved to Jones-Harrison Residence. They helped him navigate the shifting sands of memory loss with respect, dignity and love. He left this life feeling safe and cherished. He was loved beyond measure.