Lehi Historical Society “Walk of Fame” at the Legacy Center. | Photo by Heather Nielsen

Over the last several weeks, John Haws, President of the Lehi Historical Society and Archives, has been announcing the selection of this year’s Lehi Heritage Days honorees. Those selected must be Lehi residents and have contributed to the community over many years.

The Lehi Free Press will be publishing articles over the next several weeks highlighting the honorees. A committee from the Lehi Historical Society chose the recipients.

Honorees are:

  • Ken and Reta Greenwood
  • Devere and Karlyn Fowler
  • Douglas and Colleen Calton
  • Russell and Rita Felt
  • Paul and Doris (deceased) Peterson
  • William G. and Kaye Powell
  • Rex T. and Mary Price
  • Max (deceased) and Ruby Ray
  • Garry (deceased) and Kay Sampson
  • Ronald and Kaye (deceased) Smith
  • Boyd and Kathy Stewart
  • Karl E. and Carol N. Zimmerman

Ken and Reta Greenwood

Ken and Reta Greenwood. Photo courtesy of the Greenwood family

On Oct. 20, 1959, Ken and Reta Greenwood began what would be one of the greatest partnerships in Lehi history. The couple, both born and raised in Lehi, has combined courage, commitment, and cooperation in raising their family, exercising their faith and serving their community.

Ken and Reta started their life together at Utah State University where Ken attended school and worked at U and I Furniture as a flooring installer. Toward the end of the school year, Ken’s brother, Dennis, called Ken and suggested the two of them start their own flooring business. A few months later, Greenwood Carpets would begin operation in American Fork. One day Ken passed several businesses in Lehi with large “For Sale” signs on them. The wheels started turning and it wasn’t long before Ken and Dennis owned four buildings on Lehi’s Main Street. Within a few months, they opened, “The Milk Depot,” “ Ye Old Pool Hall Gift Shoppe,” and “Greenwood Carpet and Interiors.” The carpet and interiors business was moved to where Ogden’s Carpets is today and a reception center was created in the Colonial House Building.

One night a fire broke out in the reception center and while the building was preserved the interior was completely destroyed. The community rallied around the Greenwoods and held fund raisers to help restore the reception center. The Greenwoods were so appreciative and grateful they felt a desire to give back to their community.

Ken had been on the Planning and Zoning Committee for several years and decided the best way to give back to the community was to run for Mayor. With Reta by his side, Ken campaigned vigorously and proved successful. He served as Lehi’s mayor for eight years. During his tenure, the Sports Complex and the Legacy Center were built. He negotiated the acquisition and development of Micron, now IM Flash Technologies, Cabela’s, and Thanksgiving Point. Ken maintains that none of this could have been done without the cooperation of family and friends. Much of his accomplishments as mayor were the result of getting people together with a shared vision and good, old fashioned hard work.

Ken and his sons Scott, Brad, Clint, and Travis, along with only daughter, Valerie, have all worked together building each others’ homes, renovating properties, and creating a successful rental business. Reta has been an integral part of all projects. Where you see Ken, you see Reta. She can roof houses, unclog drains, hammer nails, all while being the ultimate grandmother and great grandmother.

Ken and Reta served a mission to Tanzania, where their skills as innovators and leaders found employment for many of the Tanzanian young adults. They loved their service there and continue to maintain relationships with those they served while on their mission.

This is a couple who continues to serve valiantly in any capacity from church callings to community ventures, and much more. They are truly deserving of this honor.

Left to right: Ken Greenwood, Warren Fitzgerald, Butch Scott and Marlin Barnes play together as “The Sundowners.”
Left to right: Ken Greenwood, Warren Fitzgerald, Butch Scott and Marlin Barnes play together as “The Sundowners.”

Devere and Karlyn Fowler

Dee and Karlyn Fowler

Devere and Karlyn Evans Fowler’s ancestral roots run deep. As lifelong Lehi Residents, they claim a heritage rich in history and accomplishment.

Devere’s great grandfather, Thomas Fowler, was 19 years old when he immigrated to America as a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He joined the first handcart company, the Ellsworth Company, to traverse the Midwest to Utah. He was a good friend of Orrin Porter Rockwell and became the first territorial marshal for the territory of Utah. Devere’s grandfather, Edmund Henry Fowler was Lehi’s marshal for several years. Daryl Fowler, Devere’s father, was elected Mayor of Lehi in 1947, but only served for three months before succumbing to a heart ailment. Karlyn is also a 6 generation Lehian whose family has been part of Lehi’s history for many years.

Devere learned the value of hard work early. He worked with his brother, Don, on the 360 acre farm in north Lehi that Don purchased in 1948. Dee (as his friends and family call him) baled hay, harvested grain, plowed, harrowed, and irrigated the land contributing to the success of the farming venture. Fowler has since restored the 1952 Case tractor that he and his brother operated during his formative years on the farm. Upon graduation from high school, he attended Utah State University. He married Karlyn Evans after his freshman year.

Devere has worked as an engineer for several companies. In one company, Marquardt, he helped designed and manufacture the Bomarc missile. This missile was instrumental in carrying warheads during the cold war with Russia. Fowler also designed and manufactured pumps in his Lehi factory for many years. His building is now where Knights Furniture is currently housed.

Devere and Karlyn have both been active in the Sons of Utah Pioneers and Daughters of Utah Pioneers. They both have held leadership positions in their respective camps. Their contributions to these organizations have been many and varied. The Bluebell Camp, Karlyn’s group, placed plaques on several historic buildings in Lehi. Devere helped move and restore a pioneer cabin to its place near the Hutchings Museum.

Fowler has been active in civic affairs, serving as a city councilor, president of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, president of the Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the Republican Committee, and candidate for mayor. He also served as bishop of the Lehi 4th Ward for five years. Devere and Karlyn have served many years in the Mount Timpanogos Temple.

They are the parents of six children, Paul, Larry, Brett, Julie, Annette, and Greg, the grandparents of 25 and great grandparents of 12. They continue to support Lehi in many ways and when asked about Lehi, Karlyn responded, “Lehi has changed a lot but it is still home.” Lehi is lucky to have these long-time public servants in our midst.

Dee Fowler placing plaque to mark Historic Lehi Sugar Factory site.
Dee Fowler placing plaque to mark Historic Lehi Sugar Factory site.

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