Shelby County honors work of Johnny Lowe

The Shelby County Commission presented a proclamation last week honoring the life of the late Johnny Lowe.

Lowe, a businessman, public servant, husband, father and grandfather, died June 6 at age 69.

Commissioner Larry Dillard presented the proclamation in Lowe’s honor at last week’s South Shelby County Chamber of Commerce meeting.

Present to accept the proclamation were Lowe’s wife, Jean; his daughter, Tracy; and his daughter-in-law, Scarlot.

Lowe’s son, Columbiana Mayor Allan Lowe, is away serving with the United States Army Reserves.

With tears in his eyes, Dillard read the proclamation and spoke of his friendship with Lowe.

&uot;I went to him for counsel now and then,&uot; he said. &uot;I don’t know of a bigger servant heart in Shelby County than Johnny Lowe.&uot;

Jean Lowe spoke for the family.

&uot;On behalf of our family, thank you. Johnny would be very pleased.&uot;

She said her daughter, Tracy, had planned to speak to those gathered at the chamber meeting on behalf of the family; however, following Dillard’s presentation, she was unable to do so.

She had prepared the following statement:

&uot;On behalf of my family, I want to thank the County Commission for this wonderful tribute to my father and to his efforts on behalf of citizens of Shelby County, in particular his work with the children and senior citizens of our community. I also find it fitting that he is being honored on the anniversary of what I am sure he felt was his proudest day. You see, it was 44 years ago today that my father married my mother.

&uot;I have so many precious memories of my father, but I’d like to share one with you that just seems to epitomize his philosophy of life. It was during a weekend visit home. My children, than about 1 and 3 years old, were playing in a corner toy box, and Dad and I were catching up on local politics.

&uot;A proposed one-mill property tax to help fund local schools had caused quite an uproar. As always, he summed up the situation perfectly for me. He pointed over to the babies playing in the floor and said, quite simply, ‘Tracy, they are our future. They will be the ones to lead our nation, to care for us when we are old, to fight our wars and defend our freedoms. If we aren’t willing to invest in them now, both financially and emotionally, and if we aren’t willing to put in the time and effort to teach them right from wrong and how to be responsible citizens, then we will only have ourselves to blame.’

&uot;My father practiced what he preached &045; walked the walk, as they say. We, as a community, can continue to honor his work and his beliefs. We all have opportunities, either through jobs, organizations, churches or schools to make a difference in the life of a child. I would like to challenge you all today to invest in your own future, in your community, by investing part of yourself in a child.

&uot;As of this morning, the total amount donated to the Johnny Lowe Memorial Scholarship Fund was $4,178, which will provide tuition monies for at least eight of our young people who may not otherwise have had the opportunity to attend college.

&uot;My father left a great legacy of love, generosity and most of all, service. Now the torch has been passed and it is up to us as a community to continue this service. Please, let’s not let them &045; or him &045; down.&uot;