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In Memoriam: Cherie Fowler
A photo of Cherie Fowler

Longtime Ravenscroft teacher and coach Cherie Fowler passed away on April 4, 2021.

Cherie was born on March 19, 1948, in Lexington, Virginia. She grew up in Arlington and attended Longwood College, graduating in 1970 with a degree in health and physical education.

Coach Fowler, as she was known to her adoring students, joined Ravenscroft in 1979 and served as the chair of the Physical Education Department throughout her tenure. In addition to teaching P.E. to a generation of Ravens, she coached volleyball and track & field and was the faculty advisor for the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

“Cherie was a fantastic woman who inspired many students on and off the court,” Athletic Director Ned Gonet said. “She had a great spirit, lots of enthusiasm and was always extremely positive.”

When Cherie retired in 2006, friends established an endowment in her honor that supports FCA in perpetuity. That same year, the Alumni Association inducted her into the Class of 1862 honorary alumni society in recognition of her exceptional commitment to the school and its students.

“Only a select few are inducted [into the Class of 1862],” read the Summer 2006 Ravenscroft magazine story written about Cherie’s joining the society. “Her vivacious spirit and commitment to excellence of mind and spirit is what sets her apart and makes her so deserving of this recognition.”

Ravenscroft alumni recalled a caring teacher and coach who always encouraged them to be their best.

“She was a constant, positive force for seemingly my entire childhood. She didn’t just teach us how to dribble. She taught us about nutrition, exercise, skin care, drugs, alcohol. She taught us life lessons and modeled kindness and generosity,” Sona Gupta Wuchenich ’90 remembered. “Before a track meet one day, she explained the concept of visualization and manifestation. She asked us to visualize ourselves running in our respective races the way we hope to perform — how we’ll feel and what it will look like. She told us that by visualizing it, and believing it, we could make it happen.

“I carry that concept with me to this day. When I have an important job interview or presentation, I think of her and visualize myself looking sharp in my suit, walking confidently, having smart answers to questions.”

Rebecca Hines King ’89 called her experiences with Coach Fowler “life changing.”

“Not only did she teach me the skills I needed to play, she taught me how to be a better person. She taught me through her actions: she was kind, loving, generous and one of the toughest coaches I ever had!” she said. “Thank you, Mrs. Fowler, thank you for your confidence, your strength, your grace and your love. You will be missed.”

Cherie is survived by her husband, Tom; sister, Suzanne McCandless (David) of Alexandria; and brothers, Billy Weeks (Melanie) of Glen Burnie, Md., and Tommy Weeks (Wendy) of Collierstown.

A memorial service for Cherie is planned for next Tuesday, April 13, at 11 a.m. It will be livestreamed  at http://irvingtonbaptistchurchva.org and via their Facebook Live page. A recording will be available after the live service.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Irvington Baptist Church, P.O. Box 417, Irvington, VA 22480. 

Read Cherie’s full obituary here.