Northeast Arkansas business leader, philanthropist dies

Published: May. 5, 2022 at 10:19 AM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Jonesboro businessman Wallace W. Fowler, Sr. has died.

A 2011 inductee into the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame, Fowler was instrumental in developing several businesses throughout Jonesboro and Northeast Arkansas.

A native of Manila, he attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville before joining the Army.

According to his obituary, following his stint in the Army, he and his wife Jama moved to Little Rock where he worked for Haverty Furniture and Dillard’s.

It was after he and his family moved to Jonesboro that he opened several Fowler Furniture stores throughout the region.

After selling the stores, he developed Fowler Foods which invested in Kentucky Fried Chicken and Taco Bell franchises. He also invested in several Northeast Arkansas banks.

In addition to his business prowess, Fowler contributed greatly to the community. In 2013, he donated $5 million to the NEA Baptist Charitable Foundation to expand support services for cancer patients and their families.

Fowler died Wednesday, May 4, at NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital at the age of 87. He was preceded in death by his wife Jama who died on April 20.

Visitation will be from 2 until 4 p.m. Sunday, May 8, at Emerson Funeral Home in Jonesboro. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Monday, May 9, at the funeral home, 1629 E. Nettleton, with burial to follow at Jonesboro Memorial Park Cemetery.

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