Earl Eugene Lowery, 76, passed away Wednesday, August 7, 2019, at Kalispell Regional Medical Center surrounded by his family, after succumbing to his battle with kidney and heart disease.
Earl was born as the second of two sons to Frank and Agnes Lowery in Springfield, Illinois, on August 19, 1942. Earl spent his childhood and early adult life in Lincoln, Illinois, and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps upon graduating from high school. He spent four years serving his country as a Marine in the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1965 and would proudly recount the times he was on the USS Valley Forge and the USS Iwo Jima. Upon honorable discharge, he used the bonds he earned to buy one of his most prized possessions, a blue 1968 Camaro which he had for several years.
Earl made his way to Montana after meeting one of his life-long friends — Clyde, who grew up in Kalispell — in Illinois. Once Earl was in Montana, he was hooked. In the spring of 1969, Earl met his wife of 49 years, Darlene Ballenger, at Flathead Valley Community College, and in June of 1970 they were married in Kalispell. In 1972, Earl earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Montana and in August of 1973, Earl and Darlene welcomed their first daughter, Crystal, followed by Lindsey in 1979 and Brianne in 1983.
Throughout his adult and married life, Earl was diligent in teaching his children the meaning of hard work. Knowing the importance of having the responsibility of raising a family, Earl often worked jobs that were not glamorous, but provided for his family. His exceptional work ethic was something gleaned from the USMC and from the hard work learned from his father-in-law on the farm where Darlene and her brother Bob were raised, and where Earl and Darlene would ultimately raise their family. The farm remained home for Earl up until his passing. He spent 20 years working for the Flathead Job Service as a counselor and retired from that service to become a full-time rural letter carrier with the United States Postal Service in 2001, until he retired on July 31, 2019.
Earl loved many things. He loved the color pink, appropriate for him as he raised three daughters and was the proud grandfather of five granddaughters. He loved going to Burger Town in Bigfork; thank you, Andy. He loved to umpire softball, pick huckleberries, eat ice cream, travel to see and take adventures with his daughters, dance, the St. Louis Cardinals, visiting with his brother-in-law, Bob, and going out to eat. He hated snakes even though the pretend restaurant that his girls made was named “Sneaky Snakes.” He was their best customer.
Earl is preceeded in death by his father Frank, his mother Agnes and his brother Ernest. He is survived by his wife. Darlene Lowery, daughter Crystal MacInnes (Dwayne), daughter Lindsey Tufly (Brian), daughter Brianne Fahie (McAlister), granddaughters Aoife, Rebekah, Hollis, Vivian and Vera, his beloved Dozer Dog and numerous other family members.
Services will be held at C.E. Conrad Memorial cemetery at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 15. There will be a celebration of his life immediately following at the Evergreen Fire Hall. One of dad’s favorite things to do was to eat and share food and stories with each other, so please bring along your favorite dish to share.
“Mr. Lowery,” we miss you, and life won’t be the same without you here. We love you, “Pops,” forever and unequivocally.
Friends are encouraged to visit www.buffalohillfh.com to leave notes of condolences for the family. Buffalo Hill Funeral Home and Crematory is caring for the family.