Sunday, June 20, 2010

Johnny Mose was Big Mama's pet

Johnny Mose "Cluck" Fowler
Johnny Mose "Cluck" Fowler was born to Leora and Mose Fowler, December 12, 1925 in Bastrop, Texas.

"Cluck" or "Johnny Mose" as everyone called him, was the fun uncle of the family. His best buddy was a guy nicked named "Catfish." He was tall, slim and dark skinned and actually looked like a catfish!

Cluck could be as childish as his nieces, and he made us call him Uncle Cluck. If we refused to call him uncle he would wrestle us to the floor, pull our hair or pour water on us. It was always something fun and playful. Younger children who did not know him were terrified of him until they got used to his rough play.

A lot on the skinny side, Cluck liked to wear khakis pants that were starched and perfectly ironed. His favorite shoes were Stacy Adams with pointed toes. That was the style of dress and shoes worn by African Americans and Hispanic males. They wore their pants low but with a belt. None of that low hanging, underwear showing "fashion" today. Cluck could walk and run without fear of his pants falling down around his ankles. Guys took pride in the way they dressed.

Johnny Mose was his mother's pet. He had her wrapped around his finger. She spoiled him. If she had $10 and he wanted $9.95 of it, he got it. He was 26 years old before he got married. Funny thing is, he always bragged that he would never marry a woman whose hair was shorter than his.

Guess what? He fell in love with, and married a woman whose hair was shorter than his. Her name was Irene Riggins. She was cute, lively, loud and shapely. Needless to say we were shocked when we met her. We looked for long hair that was not there. We liked her anyhow. They got married in 1951. Her short hair was always neat, and her penny loafers looked like they had been professionally shined every day. I would sit on the porch with her and watch her shine them. She was a friendly as Uncle Cluck.

When they separated Johnny Mose did not remarry until several years later. In 1956 he married Jennie V. House, a woman who was older than him. A marvelous cook, she cooked for a sorority house at the University of Texas. Every night she bought home delicious foods and shared it with us. She and Cluck lived in the house in front of us. Big Mama (Leola) lived in the rear; so did Gertrude and her family. We all lived on Salina Street.

Jennie V. and Johnny Mose were separated by the time he died September 17, 1991 of natural causes. These were the only two women he ever married. He had one daughter but he and the mother never married. I remember her name was Henretta. She was light skinned, petite and cute. We stayed on East 7th during that time.

Johnny Mose "Cluck" Fowler left behind a daughter, a host of nieces and nephews and friends to mourn his death. He is preceded in death by his father Mose (Mozell) Fowler, his mother Leora (Leola) Fowler, his sisters Imogene Fowler Gray and Gertrude Fowler Smith of Austin, his brothers Mike Fowler of California, Raymond Fowler of Lorain Isiah Fowler of Washington, D. C., and his second wife Jennie V. Fowler.

Funeral service for Johnny Mose Fowler was held at Phillips-Upshaw Richard Chapel, Wednesday, September 25, 1991, 1PM, Elder R. D. Reese, officiated. Internment was at Onion Creek Cemetery.

Replica of funeral program

In Loving Memory 


Johnny Mose "Cluck" Fowler

Wednesday, September 25, 1991


Phillips-Upshaw and Richard Chapel

1410 East 12th Street

Austin, Texas 78702

Elder R.D.  Reese, Officiating

Order of Service 



                                      Scripture                                         Elder R. D. Reese
                                      Old Testament

                                      New Testament

                                      Prayer                                              Elder R. D. Reese

                                      Eulogy                                               Elder R. D. Reese


by Mary Stevenson 

One night I had a dream
I was walking along the beach with the Lord
and across the sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints,
one belonged to me and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that many times along the path of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest
and saddest times in my life.
This really bothered me and I questioned the Lord about it.
"Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
you would walk with me all the way,
but I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in
my life there is only one set of footprints.
"I don't understand why in times when I needed you most,
you should leave me."
The Lord replied, "My precious, precious child,
I love you and I would never, never leave you
during your times of trial and suffering.
"When you saw only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you."

Casket Bearers

Ernest Smith, lll                                      Ken Titcherson

Michael Smith                                         Donald Carter

William Files                                            Dwight White

                               Tambie Winn


The family would like t express their appreciation to their many friends for their words of comfort. Internment: Onion Creek Cemetery, Austin, Texas.

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