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Bruce E. Fowler, 79, owner of Family Chocolate Shoppe in Clarence

June 18, 1940 – Aug. 3, 2019

Bruce E. Fowler, of Clarence, a former Fowler’s Chocolates executive who went on to establish his own chocolate-making business, died Aug. 3 in GreenField Heath and Rehabilitation Center, Lancaster, after a brief illness. He was 79.

Born in Buffalo, he was the grandson of Joseph Fowler, who began a business in 1901 to sell chocolates and other sweets at the Pan-American Exposition.

He was a 1958 graduate of Amherst High School, where he played basketball, baseball and soccer and was a member of the Student Council.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1963 from the University at Buffalo and was a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma business honor society. He then went to Columbia University, where he received his master’s degree in marketing.

Mr. Fowler worked for Moore Business Forms on Grand Island until 1981, then became CEO of Rediform Office Products in Paramus, N.J. He returned to Buffalo in 1987 and was executive vice president of the family business, which had become famous for its sponge candy.

After Fowler’s Chocolates was sold to investors in 1994, he founded the Family Chocolate Shoppe in Clarence, where he worked with his wife and children.

He was a past president of the Buffalo Executives Association and the Niagara Area Business Exchange. He also was a former member of the board of directors of the Clarence Chamber of Commerce.

Survivors include his wife of 56 years, the former Sandra Lee Straley; a son, Brent; a daughter, Lisa Malinowski; and two grandsons. Calling hours will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday in Dengler, Roberts, Perna Funeral Home, 8630 Transit Road, East Amherst.

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