Donald G. Lowe

2013-12-17T07:38:00Z Donald G. Lowe Longview Daily News
December 17, 2013 7:38 am

Donald George Lowe, 87, of Longview passed away Dec. 10, 2013, at the Hospice Care Center.

Don was born in Elma, Wash., in 1926. He was raised on a farm as the only child of 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 Army Air Corps during the latter period of World War II, earning his "Silver Wings" for aerial gunnery training. He was discharged as a sergeant in 1946.

Following his military service, Don enrolled at Central Washington College, where he earned a bachelor's degree in economics. After a couple years of working, he went back to Central, receiving his bachelor of education and master of education degrees.

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 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, Don was a member of the Longview Eagles, American Legion, Longview Rotary Club, Elks, was a board member and past president of the Central Washington University Alumni Association. He also was the YMCA president. He was a Little League manager in the 1950s and 60s. Don 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 in January 2013. Her children included Richard Jaspers (Kelly) of Longview and Renee Jaspers-Johnson (Eric) of Olympia.

A celebration of Don's life is planned for 2 p.m. Jan. 4 at the First Christian Church chapel, 2000 E. Kessler Blvd. in Longview. All those who knew Don and wish to pay their respects are welcome to attend. Refreshments will be provided following the service.

Copyright 2015 Longview Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(10) Signatures

  1. johnmmc
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    johnmmc - December 17, 2013 11:56 am
    Don was my teacher the first semester of sixth grade at Northlake in 1956-57. He liked to joke around and was an entertaining teacher. He nearly always played basketball and softball with the boys during recesses. A creative person, Don joined us in writing a play that we later performed for the entire school. I doubt if many his age were qualified to become administrators so early in their careers. My condolences.

    John M. McClelland
  2. RJaspers
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    RJaspers - December 17, 2013 3:43 pm
    John, thanks for sharing your memories of Don from so many years ago. It warms the hearts of the family members to know Don is still remembered by individuals within the community.

    Rick Jaspers
  3. notgonnatell
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    notgonnatell - December 17, 2013 11:04 pm
    Don was my elementary school principal at CVG. What a nice man and left a wonderful legacy. My love to him and his family.
  4. RJaspers
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    RJaspers - December 19, 2013 6:49 pm
    It is great to hear that Don was held in such high regard. Thank you for letting us know.
  5. Rob Risner
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    Rob Risner - December 20, 2013 3:18 pm
    Mr. Lowe was my principal,neighbor and friend for most of my life.He was one of a kind and a great man.I have a lot of fond memory of him.He was always there for me growing up and helped me out a lot.He was there for me when I lost my father at a early age,and always willing to do anything he could for me.I have alot to say about this man but it take to long.He was a great man and be dearly miss.R.I.P. Don or as I called him Mr. Lowe my dear friend.
  6. Rob Risner
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    Rob Risner - December 20, 2013 5:07 pm
    I knew Don Lowe for most of my life as a principal,neighbor and friend.He was a great man and do anything he could for you.He was always there for me growing up and there for me when i lost my dad at a early age.Always had time to talk.He will be dearly missed by me.R.I.P. Don or as called him Mr.Lowe out of respect.
  7. RJaspers
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    RJaspers - December 22, 2013 2:41 pm
    As we hear stories like this one, it is becoming more apparent how many lives Don touched during his almost 88 years on this earth. Rob, thanks for putting your feelings into words.
  8. jodio1
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    jodio1 - December 24, 2013 2:47 am
    I didn't know Don very well but I knew Dianne from the Kelso sale barn. My husband took it over when Vaughn Baker moved to Montana in 2009. we always enjoyed the wonderful items that they brought to sell and the wonderful people they were. I will pray for comfort for their loved ones and feel very blessed to have know them.
    Jodi McClain
  9. RJaspers
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    RJaspers - December 26, 2013 8:30 am
    Thanks so much Jodi. Both Don and Dianne loved to go to the auctions. Their house was full of bargains they had found there. They were good at remembering how much had been paid for each item. The last several years, they were not able to make it to the Sale Barn as much as they would have liked, but they did enjoy it when they could go.

    Rick J
  10. DAR Ladies
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    DAR Ladies - December 31, 2013 11:58 am
    Those who have died will never be forgotten. Their Sacrifice for their country will live on forever in the hearts of all who cherish freedom. Remembering your loved one.
    Condolences, Lower Columbia DAR Ladies
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