Lifelong resident of Melrose

Published in the September 20, 2017 edition

WAKEFIELD — Retired Lt. James Adams “Cowboy” Fowlie Sr. Ph.D died suddenly on September 16, 2017, age 71.  A lifelong resident of Melrose, Jim was a graduate of Melrose High School class of 1963, Salem State College class of 1975 with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Education, Anna Maria College class of 1983 with a degree of Master of Arts in Criminal Justice, and Columbia Pacific University Class of 1989 with a degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Jim was ranked Quartermaster Third Class in the United States Coast Guard serving from 1971-1975 and was a Vietnam War Veteran. After his discharge from the service he became a teacher at Melrose Junior High School from 1978 to 1981 as well as the athletic trainer at the Melrose High School. Jim was currently teaching Criminal Justice at the college level.

As a police officer he began as a walking beat officer in 1981. In 1986 he was promoted to Sergeant as a shift supervisor and later court prosecutor. He was the stress officer and elder service officer until he was promoted to Lieutenant in 1998, where he served as the night shift commander and was the N.I.B.R.S. supervisor. Jim retired on September 15, 2002.  He also wrote the history of the Melrose Police Department for the 100th anniversary of the city.

Jim was on the Fraternal Order of Police State Executive Board, chair of trustees and for the last three years he was the State Sergeant-at-Arms. He was the founding member of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #25 and represented them for the last 10 years as trustee. Jim was also a longtime member of the Melrose Elks and the American Legion Post 115 of Stoneham.

Jim was well known for driving around in his antique 1950 Jeep Willy which he named “Shahadaroba”

Jim loved his country, his city, his family and his friends. He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. Jim was well respected in the community.  He was a mentor to people of all ages and embraced everyone with his big heart.  He always lent a helping hand to anyone in need and never expected anything in return.  Jim will be sadly missed by all who knew him, especially his family.

Jim was the beloved husband of 40 years to Paula J. (Ciampa) Fowlie.  Loving father of Christopher J. Fowlie and his wife Kim of Wakefield, James Adams Fowlie Jr. and his wife Catherine of Tewksbury, Todd R. Fowlie of Melrose, Kaylin E. Spinazzola and her husband Benedetto of Tewksbury, Susan Needleman of Revere, and the late April Nee.  Proud grandfather of Charles Hagen, Lillyann Hagen & Jack Fowlie, Nolan & Abigail Fowlie and Gaetano, Gianluca and Macareo Spinazzola.  Cherished son-in-law of Carmine and Phyllis Ciampa.  Caring brother of Roy Fowlie and his wife Katherine of Stoneham, Jean Brigance and her husband Dick of Maine, Steven Fowlie and the late Charles Fowlie.  Also survived by several nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held at the Gately Funeral Home, 79 W. Foster St. Melrose on Monday, September 25 from 3 – 8 p.m.  Funeral Service at the Melrose Highlands Congregational Church, 355 Franklin St., Melrose, on Tuesday September 26 at 11a.m.  Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers contributions in Jim’s name may be made to Autism Speaks, Team “Mac Spinz”, 85 Devonshire Street, 9th Floor Boston, MA 02109 or at, attn.“Mac Spinz Team”. To send a message of condolence please visit