Marvin and Betty Harris, marshals for the 2019 Missouri Day Parade, go way back in Fowler history.
Marvin was born and raised in Fowler on the ranch founded by his grandparents near the Apishapa. His grandmother delivered him in 1942.
Betty's parents were from Texas and moved to the Fowler area in 1948.
Both lived on family farms, and even now that they have sold their farm and moved to a patio home in Fowler, they still have a farm. Their sons help out.
“It was such a good deal I couldn’t pass it up,” said Marvin.
Marvin and Betty both have worked at other jobs: Betty at Southeast Colorado Power, which became Black Hills, from 1978 to her retirement in 2007, and Marvin at the co-op in Fowler for 14 years, then for Petro-Mark Petroleum in Pueblo another 14 years. He retired in 2009. That was the year they sold the big farm.
Now they travel quite a bit, for their children have landed all over.
Son Clint and his wife Dianne have seven kids - Keith, Thomas, Walter, Adelaide, Jimmy, Luke and Evelyn - and live in Spokane, Wash. Keith is married and has four children; Thomas is married and has one daughter.
Jodi, their daughter, married Jesse Zemmer. They owned Rancher’s Supply in Fowler until 2018, when Jesse was diagnosed with cancer. Jodi works at Social Services in La Junta, where she has been for over a year. Their son, Brian, manages Rancher’s Supply for the Fowler store (it was bought by the Lamar store). Their son, Brad, just got out of college and is doing construction.
Betty’s dad, Jesse Cope, had Cope’s Men’s Wear in Fowler.
Marvin says he was one of eight boys, so he has plenty of relatives in Fowler.
Betty has two living sisters, one of whom lives in Atlanta and the other in New Jersey.
There’s still a lot to do in Fowler. Their son-in-laws and grandsons help Marvin on the small farm he bought, where he runs a few cattle.
“I’ve been running cattle all my life,” he said.
Marvin is happy with the patio home. He bought it because he saw it was well-built.
“Best thing I ever did,” he said.
Marvin and Betty have been married 54 years.
Any advice on how to have a long and happy marriage?
“Get somebody that puts up with you," said Marvin. "I was lucky. She worked alongside of me, we got to work together, we put up with each other. I was lucky to get a good partner.”
Are they going to lead the parade?
“They got a golf cart we’re going to ride in," Marvin said. "I like sitting on my porch and squirting [people in the parades], so they’re probably going to squirt me.”