Wallace W. Fowler Sr., one of Arkansas’ most influential business leaders, has died. Wallace passed away Wednesday, May 4, at NEA Baptist Hospital in Jonesboro, according to Emerson Funeral Home. He was 87.
Wallace’s wife of 65 years, Jama, passed away just two weeks prior, on April 20.
The Fowlers are known for developing Fowler Foods, which brought Kentucky Fried Chicken and later Taco Bell locations throughout northeast Arkansas, and grew to 93 franchises before it was sold in 1985. From there, Wallace and Jama ventured into the banking industry, owning interests in Mercantile Bank, North Arkansas Bancshares, First Bank of Arkansas, Southwest Bancshares, Russellville Bancshares, Liberty Bank of Arkansas and Liberty Bancshares.
Wallace, a native of Manila, was born on March 25, 1935, and was a 2011 inductee into the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame.
Visitation for Fowler will be from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, May 8, at Emerson Funeral Home in Jonesboro. A funeral service will be at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 9, at Emerson Funeral Home with Brother Chris Harrell officiating. Burial will follow at Jonesboro Memorial Park Cemetery. Grandchildren will serve as pallbearers.
The family requests that lasting memorials be made to: NEA Baptist Foundation; University of Arkansas Razorback Foundation; Arkansas Children’s Hospital Foundation.
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Photo and obituary courtesy of Emerson Funeral Home.