Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler died Saturday, at the age 82.
The Parker County Sheriff's Office issued the notice around 2 p.m. Saturday.
"He passed from this life and entered into the presence of our Lord at the age of 82 on February 27, 2021, surrounded by his family and loving wife, Gail Fowler," according to the PCSO release.
Parker County Judge Pat Deen said his priority right now is to focus his thoughts and prayers on Fowler's family and those who knew him.
"It's been a privilege in serving with him," Deen said. "When I came in as county judge, we quickly gelled in working well together and have been able to do what I feel is a lot of good things.
"We never always agreed but we agreed way more times than we didn't, and we formed a very good connection."
Fowler was born June 5, 1938, to Mary Naomi Evans, in Weatherford. He married Gail Williams-Fowler on June 23, 1990.
Fowler served in the United States Navy working on jet aircraft aboard the aircraft carrier, the USS Intrepid, for four years and received an honorable discharge, according to the sheriff's office.
In 1963, Fowler began a life-long career in law enforcement, serving with the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office, Weatherford Police Department, the United States Marshals Service, the Parker County District Attorney’s Office, and was elected Parker County Sheriff in 2004, where he served until his untimely death.
"Larry truly possessed a servant’s heart by dedicating his energy to numerous local charities and organizations, receiving several awards and recognitions for his service," according to the release. "He believed the strength of our community lies within the heart of its volunteers, and he practiced what he preached. He made certain his children and his employees followed suit, paving the way by example. His word was his oath, which reflected his ethic – tough yet compassionate. He directed others to the path less-traveled through his training. The results were always rewarding in knowing the correct path was taken, never jeopardizing integrity. He gave credit where it was due, and his compliments were always sincere and memorable."
Fowler assumed the role of sheriff in January 2005. In November of 2020, he beat out Libertarian opponent Russell Hess handily to retain another term.
At the time, Hess expressed concerns about Fowler's health. Fowler underwent a double lung transplant in July 2017.
“I’ve been through a lot — I’ve had a double lung transplant — and it’s cancer-related and right now we’ve got it at bay,” Fowler said in October. “I’m not going to say that I work every day but I try to take care of business every day and of course it has slowed me down, which I’m not real fond of. I used to have two speeds, fast and stop, and I’ve got a little more stop now but I can still operate the sheriff’s office to the degree just, like we’ve always done."
"As long as I am physically able, I will continue to serve."
Going forward, Deen said it is important to maintain the continuity and leadership of the sheriff's office.
"We will get through this and then have those discussions, but my focus is continuing that level of service [through the sheriff's office] that we've been providing and that leadership, through [PCSO Chief Deputy] Russ Authier," he said. "Sheriff Fowler's leadership will go way beyond in years to come.
"He will have left his mark here that we will enjoy long after he is gone."