Southport man turns 100-years-old

World War II veteran tells about his experiences and things he has seen in life


Madeline Hittel

Cedric Fowler celebrates his 100-year-old birthday at Rosegate Community Center. Fowler has experienced a lot over his century of life.

Madison Gomez, Reporter

Turning 100 years old does not happen very often, especially in men, statistics show. Growing up on a farm, being married for 77 years and almost dying for his country, Cedric Fowler has had quite a few experiences in his life that not everyone can say they have. In his retirement home, Rosegate Commons, the staff threw a birthday party, making Fowler and his daughter, Cathy Midvendors, appreciating what the staff did to give Fowler something to look forward to.  

“Everybody loves my dad,” Midvendors said. “He’s just a wonderful, easy-going, thoughtful, caring person.”

Throughout his life, Midvendors says, everyone in the family has looked up to him. Fowler grew up on a farm, never spending too much money but living a “normal life, with a normal job.” When the bombing of Pearl Harbor happened, Fowler stepped up to serve his country in the army air-corps becoming a radar technician. Fixing plane radars was his duty to his country and that was what he loved to do since he was, and still is, very patriotic.

One day while in Guam, where Fowler served, the radar man for another flight crew member had gotten sick with appendicitis and had to stay in Hawaii due to his illness. The crew then asked Fowler, since he was a radar technician, to come with to help fix the radar while on the bombing mission they needed to do. The following morning after being asked to go with them, another radar man, mysteriously appeared and went on the mission instead of Fowler.

“Those guys never came back,” Midvendors said. They did not find the plane or any of the crew.

Midvendors says it’s almost like that crew disappeared.

Fowler and his daughter feel very fortunate that he did not go.

“I wouldn’t be here either,” Midvendors said.

In his retirement home, Rosegate Commons, the staff threw a party to celebrate Fowler’s big day of turning one hundred. It was full of smiles, hugs and a large birthday cake that said “Happy Birthday Cedric!” Outside of Rosegate’s celebration, he received a letter from the mayor of Southport, Russell McClure, saying that Nov. 8, his birthday, was officially “Cedric Fowler Day.” The mayor of Indianapolis, Joe Hogsett, took notice of Fowler’s birthday and sent a kind letter to him as well.

“Birthdays don’t last one day, they last a whole year,” Fowler said smiling in his chair.