Jean Ruth Fowler was about helping, something she did for 59 years, 51 of them in Humboldt County, as a psychotherapist ministering to the needs of scores of patients. She emphasized the positive in life while facing the negative. Her therapy slogan was “counseling with caring,” and her business card featured a red heart.

The mother of two sons and loving wife of Jerry Fowler, died on Dec. 30, 2021, eighteen days before her 85th birthday. She had been struggling with pernicious impact of Alzheimer’s disease for several years and was promised by her husband that she would die at home. Hospice of Humboldt County help make her wish come true with compassionate care during the debilitating struggle to her final day.

Her husband Jerry described Jean a soft spoken, petite, beautiful inside and out. Very shy as a child, she overcame that to become more verbal and outgoing. She was a loving mother to her sons Scott and Brett and a faithful, caring spouse in a marriage that lasted fifty seven and one half years. Jerry said Jean taught him to be empathic.

She cherished dogs and the couple had nine Bassett hounds during their marriage. Jean said that she could not look at the dog without smiling. Jean also loved dancing (especially disco) and did not shrink from it even when it went out of style.

She was one of the original teaching numbers of the International Transactional Analysis Association and was a pioneer in revealing the problem of workaholism.

Jean was born Jan. 16, 1937 in Seattle and was the only child of Frank and Ruth Arndt of Washington. She graduated from Reed College in Portland, Oregon with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and then earned a Master of Social Work from Boston’s Simmons School of Social Work, where she was awarded a large scholarship based on need that she later used to tour Europe before going to work for the Monterey County Mental Health Clinic in Salinas. After she married, Jean willingly moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan to allow Jerry to obtain Master of Social Work degree at the University of Michigan.

Together they had a private practice of counseling and psychotherapy from 1971 on. Moving to Clam Beach in 1974 they renovated their home, which was featured in the Times-Standard. Jean loved the beach and taught her boys Brett and Scott to love it too. She adored nature and belonged to a local garden club for many years.

Surviving Jean are her spouse, Jerry, and son Scott (practicing Chinese medicine in San Diego) as well as two cousins Roger and Robert Monroe. Her son Brett died in 2017.

There will be a celebration of her life from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 23, at the Fowler home overlooking Clam Beach. Those who knew Jean and have a positive memory to share are invited to attend. Anyone wanting to donate in Jean’s name may do so to Planned Parenthood in Eureka. Ayers Family Cremation funeral home oversaw final arrangements.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Jean Fowler’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.