Reid Stewart Towler, age 90, died on Friday, December 19, 2014. Mr. Towler was born September 13, 1924. A life-long resident of Raleigh, he attended Hayes Barton Grammar School (now Myrtle Underwood Grammar School), Needham Broughton High School, and Fishburne Military School in Waynesboro, Virginia. He graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1947.
He was an avid golfer his entire life. While at Broughton, he was a member of the golf team that won the North Carolina State Championship and South Atlantic Championship. He was a five time club champion at the Carolina Country Club. He also won club championships at the Raleigh Country Club and The Country Club of North Carolina. He served on the Executive Committee of the Carolinas Golf Association for four years, and he represented North and South Carolina in the annual “Putter’s Cup” matches against Virginia and West Virginia.
On January 23, 1968, he shot a ten under par 62 to set the then course record at the Carolina Country Club, which remained the course record for several decades. After turning age 55, he went on to win twelve Senior Championships. Throughout his golf career, he had 11 holes in one.
During World War II he served in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific theater. He participated in the initial invasion of Iwo Jima, where he was honored to witness the raising of the American flag. He also served in Okinawa, and participated in the initial occupation of Japan. He received his commission as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy on November 22, 1944. On December 22, 1944, he departed from San Francisco, California on a Troop Carrier Ship to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He was assigned as division officer to the USS LC (FF) 994. The ship departed from Pearl Harbor in January 1945 and reached the following Ports of Call:
Eniwetok Atoll (February 3, 1945), Saipan (February 10, 1945), Iwo Jima (February 19, 1945), Saipan (March 2, 1945), Leyte, P.I. (March 9, 1945), Okinawa (April 1, 1945) Leyte, P.I. (August 15, 1945), Calicoan Island, P.I.
(September 4, 1945), Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, P.I.
(September 11, 1945), Wakayama Honshu, Japan
(September 25, 1945), Subic Bay, Luzon, P.I.
(October 6, 1945), Wakayama Honshu, Japan
(October 21, 1945), Manila, Luzon, P.I.
(October 31, 1945), Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, P.I.
(November 6, 1945), Sasebo Ko, Kyushu, Japan
(November 14, 1945).
From December 1945 through April 1946, the ship was assigned to the occupation of Japan at Kobe, Osaka, Nagoya, Yokohama, and Tokyo. In May 1946 the ship was ordered to Astoria, Oregon, USA where it arrived in June. He was honorably discharged from the Navy having attained the rank of Lieutenant (J.G.).
Upon graduating from the University of North Carolina he went into the insurance business with the New England Mutual of Boston, Massachusetts with which he remained active for 47 years. He was a past president of the Raleigh Association of Life Underwriters, a life member of the Million Dollar Round Table, a life member of the New England Leaders’ Association, a life member of the New England Hall of Fame, and was a Chartered Life Underwriter. He also won New England’s highest honor, The Vanguard Award.
He was a member of White Memorial Presbyterian Church where he served as a Deacon and President of the Men of the Church.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 51 years, Miriam Morgan Arwood, who died in January 1998, and his son-in-law, Gregory Fields Carlisle, who died in January 2013.
Surviving are his daughters, Henrietta Towler Corbin, Mary Stewart Towler Carlisle and Miriam Morgan Towler Duke and her husband, David Marshall Duke; and grandchildren, Reid Towler Millns, Kitty Morgan Duke, John Hunt Duke and Gregory Fields Carlisle, II.
Profound love and appreciation is extended to Jean Turner for her lifetime of unwavering dedication, loyalty and friendship to the entire Towler family. You have always been our older sister. To Barbara Lassiter, we extend love and appreciation for more than 20 years as housekeeper and friend to our father. And heartfelt appreciation to the team of skilled caregivers, who made Daddy's life easier with their tender and compassionate care
A visitation will be held in the Jane Bell Gathering Space at White Memorial Presbyterian Church from 4-6 p.m. on Monday, December 22, 2014.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, December 23, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. at White Memorial Church. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Mary S. Towler Memorial Fund at White Memorial Presbyterian Church or to the Emma Barber Towler Memorial Scholarship at Meredith College.
Arrangements by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, Saint Mary's St. Raleigh.