Walter Leslie Lowrey
May 22, 1919 - September 18, 2016
The Reverend W. Leslie Lowrey (Les), 97, passed away on September 18, 2016. He was born in Healdsburg, California on May 22, 1919, to Walter & Charlotte (Gordon) Lowrey. Les graduated from Healdsburg High School in 1937 and went to work for the California Nursery Company. In 1941 he enrolled in Northwest Christian College (NCC) where he met and married the love of his life, Sadie Packard. They both graduated from NCC in 1945 and were ordained together. Les also obtained a degree from the University of Oregon and then went on to graduate from the Butler School of Religion. He pastored congregations of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Oregon, Indiana, California, Washington, Idaho, and Arizona for more than forty years.
Together Les and Sadie served as Disciple mission-coworkers, appointed by the United Christian Missionary Society teaching English at Okinawa Christian Institute from 1965 to 1967. Their original appointment was scheduled for one year, but Les and Sadie felt called to stay longer stating, “We are needed and we like it here.” They stayed a total of two years and continued to stay in touch with many of their students. For Les’ ninety-seventh birthday in May of 2016, some of his former students traveled to Arizona to celebrate with him.
Retirement brought travels, cruises, and summers in Prescott, Arizona, with children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Les was preceded in death by Sadie after seventy-three years of marriage. Throughout his long life, Les loved opera, gardening, camping, his friends, telling a good story, and a glass of red wine. He is survived by his three daughters: Candace Donnelly (James), Janna Merrick (Dave) and Jean Mills (Robert); five grandchildren; and six great grandchildren.
A memorial service was held on Saturday, October 15, 2016, at Larkspur Christian Church, 3302 West Larkspur Drive, Phoenix, AZ 85029. Condolences may be sent to Candace Donnelly, 1717 Chehalis Drive, Petaluma, CA 94954. Memorial gifts may be made to Hospice of the Valley at 1510 East Flower Street, Phoenix, AZ 85014.