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In and Around Morningside-Skyline 
By Mary McHale 301-735-3451

Mike Fowler, who loved fishing with Austin and Ryan, dies at 40

Michael Ray Fowler, Jr., best known as Mike or Mikey, grew up in Morningside, the son of Sharon and Michael Ray Fowler, Sr.  He was only 40 when he died suddenly of a stroke on May 30.

During idyllic Morningside years, surrounded by family and friends, Mike loved taking part in Haunted Hayrides and other fun things the Morningside Recreation Council dreamed up.

In 1998 Mike graduated from Gwynn Park High School.  His first job was at the Tucker Road Ice Rink.  He loved hockey and played on the ice whenever he wasn’t working.  He moved on to a 15-year career as a Backhoe Operator at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Suitland and at Resurrection Cemetery in Clinton.  At Resurrection, he had just received a promotion to Journeyman.

In 2006, Mike Fowler and Amy Schlor welcomed their first son Austin Michael and then they were blessed with Ryan David in 2009.

In 2017 friends introduced Mike to Shannon.  A whirlwind romance began and in 2019 they married and bought a home.  They enjoyed road trips, concerts and fishing trips with the boys. Mike loved his yearly golf trips with Dad and summer pool parties with Mom in their backyard.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents Barbara and William Lynn and Joan and Robert Fowler.  Survivors include his wife Shannon, sons Austin and Ryan, parents Sharon and Michael Fowler, and brothers Daniel and Billy Fowler.  Services were at Lee’s with burial at Cedar Hill Cemetery.

Mike was a huge Washington Redskins fan.  But when it was hockey season, you couldn’t pull him away from a Caps game.


Town of Morningside: want to march in the Parade?

Fourth of July is coming up in Morningside.  That means fireworks at dusk— the best fireworks for miles around.

But Morningside starts celebrating earlier in the day with their annual Morningside Independence Day Parade.  If you have a group, a vintage vehicle, a clown, a band, Scouts, or politician, call the Town at 301-736-2300 for information on how to participate in the Parade.  I’ll be under the Baptist Church tree to wave.


Neighbors & other good people

Condolences to Rita Beall, of Morningside, on the death of her sister Estella Carreon McCullugh, of El Paso.  She died May 29, just two days before she’d have turned 90.

Pearline Mitchell (Jackson) Smith, 95, Valedictorian of the Class of 1941 at Frederick Douglass High School, died at her home in Silver Spring on May 28.  She was predeceased by two siblings, a daughter, a grandson, and husbands Ignatius Mitchell and James L. Smith, Esq.  Survivors include six children, grand- and great-grandchildren.  Services were at Lee’s.

Peg Richardson posted photos of her in her 1930 Ford in Morningside’s 1972 Independence Day Parade.  She says she sold the car in 1974 when the family was getting ready to move.  Too bad, she could have ridden it in the 2021 Parade.

I am delighted to have daughter Kathleen Shearer in town from West Chester, Ohio, for La Reine’s “Last Chance Dance” on June 12.  She was a graduate of the Class of 1969.  We will be joined by my daughters Elaine Seidman (Class of ’77) and Sheila Mudd (Class of ’79).  More about La Reine next week.


Community outreach at Suitland Road Baptist Church

Pastor Kevin McCune extends an invitation to the community to journey with him on Friday mornings, 10:30 to 11:30, through the Book of 2nd Thessalonians.  You can dial the Bible class on 617-769-8377.

Pastor McCune hopes to soon resume in-person services.  For more information, you can call him at 301-219-2296.


Covid report: 9 more Marylanders have died

Maryland had 121 more cases as of June 10, 5 p.m., and nine more deaths reported.

The majority of hospitals in Maryland and D.C. will start requiring all employees to be vaccinated.

Prince George’s County Public Schools open in the fall with in-person learning five days a week.


Remembering 1958 when we moved to Skyline Drive

Sixty-three years ago this month we saw our house for the first time.  We had driven our Chevy stationwagon from Mill Valley, Calif., dropped off three of our children at my folks’ home in Saginaw, Mich., arrived at Uncle Paul & Aunt Fran Mudd’s home in Oxon Hill, and began the search with a succession of realtors, for a new home.  We had our two youngest, John (3) and Brian (10 months), to help us search.

And then we found it, a beautiful brick house in a place called Skyline.  It had everything we wanted—four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room with a fireplace, a screened side porch, a big basement and a yard filled with trees.  We bought it for $21,000.

Until our furniture arrived, we slept on the floor.  When everything was delivered and set in place, my sister Johanna drove from Saginaw with the three we’d left behind.  I remember how excited they were to run around in their new digs.

We shopped for groceries at G.I. Market in Morningside and Safeway in Suitland, registered Kathleen at Morningside School and Mike at Morningside Kindergarten (with Mrs. Irene Smith).

Jack began catching the bus at the corner of Suitland & Randolph roads every morning.  The bus dropped him off at the Justice Department on Pennsylvania Avenue.

 We had arrived.  And I’m still here.



Happy birthday to Stephanie Phipps, June 19; Christian Nichols, June 20; my grandson Conor McHale, Aletheia Fadness, Mark Witherow Sr. and Antonio Jackson, June 21; Gary Fadness, June 22; Edson Cook, June 23; Gloria R. Johnson, June 24; Michael Taylor and Larry Frostbutter, June 25.

Happy anniversary to Calvin  & Debbie Brown, their 28th on June 20; Tim & Becki Cordero, their 20th on, June 23; and Mary & Mike Dawes, their 48th on June 23.

Happy Father’s Day to all our fathers!

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By Audrey Johnson 301-922-5384


Wesley Theological Seminary is excited to announce that Class of 2021 graduate Shemaiah Strickland, M.Div. ’21, is the recipient of the By Faith Magazine’s 2021 Harry Hosier Spirit Award.  By Faith Magazine’s mission is to communicate “the shared life and stories and the gifts of the Black United Methodist Churches to make disciples for Jesus for the transformation of underserved communities and the world.”

From the magazine’s description of the award:  The Harry Hosier Spirit Award celebrates the life and legacy of Harry Hosier, who was considered one of the greatest preachers in early American Methodism, in the opinion of Bishop Francis Asbury, with whom many believe that Harry was the “smoke in the tire” that set Methodism ablaze on the new American frontier.”

“This award is given to a graduating Black Student from each of the 13 United Methodist seminaries who best exemplifies the spirit of Harry Hosier, expressed in what is described as his elocution of faith, I preach by faith, pray by faith, and do everything by faith.”

Shemaiah has been appointed by Bishop LaTrelle Easterling to the Nottingham-Myers /Christ UMC Cooperative Parish in Brandywine, Maryland.  She recently passed her Board of Ordained Ministry exams for ordination and is recommended to be made a commissioned elder this October at the Baltimore-Washington Conference to The United Methodist Church’s Annual Conference.

By Faith Magazine will run a feature on Shemaiah and the other winners in its July–August 2021 edition.  Congratulations, Shemaiah!  #UMC #HarryHosierAward #ByFaithMagazine



STEM Educators of the year, Erin Lukomska-Schlauch and Karen Shelton, both teachers at Charles Herbert Flowers High School were awarded the Maryland Tech Council’s (MTC) STEM Educator of the Year award in recognition of their commitment to Stem Educator and the extraordinary dedication demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Information from PGCPS Express Newsletter.


We are proud to introduce 2021–2022 Teacher of the Year, DuVal High School 10th grade English Arts teacher Adrin Leak a 12-year PGCPS educator, Mrs. Leak’s mission to close the educational gap for all students.  During her tenure at DuVal, Leak is described as “radiating a passion and zest for learning, building a sense of community, and serving as a stellar example of a master teacher to colleagues.

Congratulations to runner-up, Capitol Heights Elementary School second grade Talented and Gifted teacher Bridget McCoy and second place winner Dr. Mable Smith, eight grade Reading & English Language Arts Teacher at Samuel Ogle Middle School.  Information from PGCPS Express Newsletter.


The School Library is a service agency that provides materials for individual students, groups, and classes.  Books available cover a wide range of subjects and interests.  The school library is also a teaching agency.  In addition to the work in the classroom, children can gain further training in reading research and library skills.

The school librarian is trained in library skills and gives special expertise to the school curriculum.  Librarians are trained in techniques to teaching and in human relations.  American Library Association standards are observed in all secondary schools.  During 1959–60, circulation records reported ten books circulated for every pupil in the high school program.

At the elementary level, all schools have organized libraries.  These make possible the use of all materials by the entire school personnel and provide a source of varied materials for classroom libraries.  During this period, audio-visual materials were introduced in the library including films, film strips, slides, recordings, video, etc., which enhanced the library program.  Workshops were initiated by the librarian for the staff and school personnel so that the equipment was utilized.  The Media Center and library programs were supervised by Mrs. Louise Bennett.  Information received from Prince George’s County Retired Teachers Association.


J. Enos Ray and his family were leaders in the community for half a century before his death at the age of 60 in 1934.  He was born on the Ray Farm which extended from Sligo Mill Road to Riggs Road and lived all his life on the family estate.  He was graduated from the University of Maryland in 1893 and was chosen President of the Alumni Association shortly before his death.  In 1896 he received his law degree from Georgetown University.

Mr. Ray was a progressive resident of the County, lending his influence on the development of good schools, roads, and other improvements.  He was Collector of Internal Revenue for the Metropolitan Washington area, Chairman of the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland for thirty years.  President of the Prince George’s Bank and Trust Company of Hyattsville, a director of the Lincoln National Bank of Washington, and senior member for the law firm of Ray and Keefer.  He was elected to the General Assembly from Prince George’s County in 1904 and later became Speaker of the House of Delegates of the Maryland Assembly.  Mr. Ray was appointed State Auditor and subsequently Chairman of the State Tax Commission.

Portraits of Mr. Ray hang in the Board Room of the New Hampshire Avenue headquarters building of the Suburban Trust Company, the State House at Annapolis, and the entrance hall of the school bearing his name.  By Evelyn G. Hall (retired in 1983 after 23 years of service).  Information received from Prince George’s County Retired Teachers Association.


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