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April 2014


Stowe’s Service To Co-Op Has Been Exemplary


Fred Stowe resigned from the SWRE Board at the conclusion of our March board meeting after 48 years of service. Typical of Fred’s attitude for service, he did not want any fanfare or attention. His service and experiences spanning those 48 years could fill several books, but I feel privileged to be able to make a few comments about Fred’s service to SWRE.


In July of 1995 when I met Fred Stowe for the first time, I had lived on the cooperative lines for almost fifteen years. I may have seen Fred at a SWRE annual meeting, but I really didn’t know him. He asked me to meet with him on that hot July day to consider representing my neighbors and friends on the SWRE board.


Fred addresses an annual meeting.


Fred and I talked about service on community boards. Just like myself, Fred had served on many boards. I was superintendent of schools at that time, and I was really not interested in serving on any additional boards, but Fred had such a passion about the cooperative business model and what Southwest Rural Electric Cooper- ative meant to the members of southwest Oklahoma and north Texas that I began to realize how important the cooperative was to members.


Fred Stowe Almost 19 years later, I sat at the board table as Fred


asked his fellow trustees to accept his resignation. I think one the trustees summed it up very well. Ronnie Swan’s comment was that when he thought of Fred, the word “integrity” came to mind. I don’t think that I can improve on that! I believe that there could be no greater compliment than to be described as a man of “integrity.”


Fred has always been a friend and mentor to me. During his tenure as presi- dent of the SWRE Board, I leaned on his advice not only about co-op matters but personal matters as well.


Fred and Almeta


Fred is one of the wisest men I have ever known. He is honest, trustworthy, and dependable – a good husband, father, grandfather, neighbor, and friend.


I have been blessed to serve with Fred as SWRE trustee and


Fred (center) with SWRE Board members Dan White (left) and Jimmy Holland (right).


CEO. I was also fortunate to serve with Fred as his alternate to the Western Farmers Board. Fred provided leadership to that Board during some challenging times like the demise of the


Black Fox nuclear facility and the construction of the Hugo coal-fired plant.


For 48 years Fred Stowe has given his best efforts in helping to direct management and trustees to serve the members of Southwest Rural Electric. His vision of community service through our cooperative has helped foster the vision of “safety, service, and satisfaction – one member at a time” that SWRE embraces today.


Thank you, Fred, for your service and your friendship!


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