J. William “Bill” Lowe
J. William “Bill” Lowe passed away Sunday morning, Nov. 29, 2015, at INOVA Loudoun Hospital in Leesburg, Virginia. He was comforted by his son and daughter prior to his death. He died of a sudden illness. He was 94-years-old.
Bill was born in Jefferson County, on Sept. 13, 1921. His parents were Ella Walper Lowe and John Douglas Lowe Sr. He is predeceased by his parents and all his brothers and sisters: Margaret Binns, Randolph, Ken, Virginia Ramsburg, Dorothy, Eugene (“Chappy”) and John. His family farmed using horse-drawn plows and raised Jersey cows, chickens and pigs. He was in charge of the chickens and took great pride in them. He was an avid member of 4-H and attended 4-H camps where he learned many life skills that carried him through his long lifetime.
His brothers, Randolph and Chappy, fought in infamous battles in the European Theatre during World War II, such as the Invasion of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge. Randolph was missing behind enemy lines during the Normandy Invasion. Chappy happened upon Randolph in a field hospital, where Chappy was working as a medical officer. It was a very happy day for them both, as well as the rest of the Lowe family! His brother, Ken, worked at an airplane manufacturing plant. Bill stayed on the home front also working for the war effort at Pangborn in Hagerstown, Maryland, as a defense contractor.
Bill and Chappy attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C. They were very close and had many common interests (like dancing). After the war ended, he began his career in Washington working for the newly created International Monetary Fund, where he met his wife, Dorothy. They married in 1952 and had two children, Monica and Brian. He worked in the Treasurer’s Office and earned his Master’s Degree in Finance at George Washington University. Later he transferred to the Office of the Internal Auditor where he became deputy and then director of Auditing until his retirement in 1978.
He and his wife, Dorothy, enjoyed retirement by traveling to Europe several times and making cross-country trips to the western U.S. and Canada, where they had friends in Toronto. They were in Rome the day the Pope was shot in 1981. They also traveled to Lima, Peru and visited the ruins of Machu Picchu when they attended an international conference. They traveled to England and Ireland on several occasions. In 2005, they visited an old friend, Vida Tizard, in Bournemouth and in 2007 stayed in Ashford Castle in County Clare with Brian, Monica and her husband, Gene. They rented a car and toured the Ring of Kerry and other beautiful places in western Ireland.
In the last few years, Bill resided at Woodland Retirement Home in Lovettsville, Virginia and Sunrise in Leesburg and was well loved by the staff and other residents as he entertained them with stories of Shepherdstown, and his life on the farm in his youth. He survived many bouts of illness in recent years and was lovingly brought back to health by the medical staff at INOVA Loudoun Hospital and the Heritage Hall Skilled Nursing Care facility in Leesburg.
A memorial service is being held at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13, at the Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his honor may be made to the National 4-H organization; www.4h.org/get-involved/donate/