Donald George Lowe, 87, of Longview, passed away on December 10, 2013, at the Hospice Care Center.
Don was born in Elma, Washington in 1926, where he was raised on a farm as an only child by his parents, George and Lucy (Gaythorpe) Lowe. In his early years, when not doing chores, Don spent countless hours exploring the area surrounding the farm.
While in junior high and high school, Don excelled at basketball and track and participated in numerous school activities.
Upon graduation from Elma High School in 1944, Don enlisted in the military. He served in the US Army Air Corps during the latter period of World War II, earning his “Silver Wings” for aerial gunnery training, and was discharged as a sergeant in 1946.
Following his military service, Don enrolled at Central Washington College where he earned a BA in Economics. After a couple years of working, he went back to Central, receiving his Bachelor of Education as well as a Master of Education degree.
In 1953, Don moved to Longview where he began his career as an educator. He started out at Northlake School, teaching the upper grades. After four years he took on the mantle of elementary principal in the Longview schools, spending the next 25 years at St. Helens, Robert Gray, Olympic and Columbia Valley Gardens schools. During his tenure as a principal, Don served one term as president of the Department of School Principals of the Washington Education Association. After retirement, Don’s love for education drew him back as a substitute principal for a couple years before his full retirement in 1984.
Over the years, Mr. Lowe belonged to the Longview Eagles, American Legion, Longview Rotary Club, Elks, was a board member and past president of the Central Washington University Alumni Association and was the YMCA president. He was also a little league manager in the 1950’s and 60’s. Don Lowe was awarded the Distinguished Service Award in 1961.
Don attended First Christian Church for many years, serving three terms as board president of the church. In his latter years, he attended Longview Nazarene Church.
Don’s surviving children include Sandra Calahan (John) of Steliacoom, Wash., Susan Lowe (Steve Martin) of Covington, Wash., and Steven Lowe (Yan Chen) of Seattle,-all three from Don’s first wife, Betty (Sherman), who passed away in 2012.
In 1983, Don married Dianne Hagen. The two enjoyed dancing, camping trips with the Cowlitz Caravan RV Club, going to auctions at the Sale Barn and finding treasures at garage sales and thrift shops. Don also played basketball with several local groups until he was nearly 60 years old, sometimes playing with men half his age. He also liked to hunt, fish and go boating.
Dianne passed away January 2013. Her children included, Richard Jaspers (Kelly) of Longview and Renee Jaspers-Johnson (Eric) of Olympia.
A celebration of Don’s life will be held at the First Christian Church chapel located at 2000 E. Kessler in Longview, at 2 p.m., on Saturday, January 4, 2013. All those who knew Don and wish to pay their respects are welcome to attend. Refreshments will be provided following the service.