Lowery has been blessed with a long and fruitful life. One of his greatest blessings has been his marriage with Mary Ann Maines Smith.
Lowery was born to Anna Mae Lowery Smith and Rennie John Smith on June 28, 1929 on his mother’s parent farm near Rosebush, Michigan. Both of his parents were teachers who valued lifelong learning. On December 1, 1937 the family moved from Michigan, where all their extended family and friends lived, to work in education on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in Southwestern South Dakota. The move was made during the depth of the great depression. Lowery attended grade school in a one room public school from grade 3 through 8.
During World War II Lowery’s father joined the Navy as a recruiter and was stationed in Rapid City, SD. Lowery graduated from Rapid City High School where he was active in football and track. He graduated from the South Dakota School of Mines in Rapid City in 1951 with a BS degree in Geological Engineering.
In 1950 Lowery Married Jane Louise Beck and they had five children: Lowery (Corky) Beck Smith, Sherry Mae Smith, Kim Louise Battisti, Rennie Neil Smith and Earl (Doc) Miller Smith. After 15 years the marriage ended and Lowery became a single parent to his three sons until he married Mary Ann Maines on August 23, 1969 at her parent’s farm south of Indianapolis, Indiana.
Lowery and Mary Ann have 13 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.
Lowery’s careers include employment with Exxon as a field geologist, Hercules Power Company as a technical sales representative, the J. L. Shiely Company in various sales and marketing positions, Minnesota FracSand Company as president. Lowery retired from the J. L. Shiely Company in 1989 and started his own company, Ag-Lime Sales, Inc. He closed the company in 2016 and officially retired at 87. During his employment years Lowery held many leadership roles in local and national industry associations.
Lowery’s passions include travel, spiritual enrichment, lifelong learning and planning family gatherings and trips (such as rafting the Grand Canyon, travelling in Switzerland, sailing in the British Virgin Islands, and staying in a castle in Northern Ireland). He considers the blessings of sharing time with family and friends to be high-points in his life.
Without question Lowery’s 50+ years marriage with Mary Ann has brought him his greatest joy and companionship. Together they have traveled to six of the seven continents and made 14 trips to Chile for short term mission work.
Mary Ann Maines Smith
Mary Ann Maines Smith was born to Raymond Maines and Helen Merkle on January 13, 1936 in Saint Francis hospital in Beech Grove, Indiana (a suburb of Indianapolis). In her first 9 years, the family lived in Indianapolis where she started school. When she was 10, the family moved to the suburbs and her brother, John, was born. Happy finally to have a sibling, she loved him very much and enjoyed babysitting and playing with him.
Because of several family moves Mary Ann attended three different high schools and graduated from Ben Davis High School in 1953. She participated in 4-H, speech competition, drama club, girls’ choir and Methodist Youth Fellowship (MYF). Her involvement in 4-H led to attending Indiana State Fair Girls’ School for three years (the last year as student assistant director) then Purdue University where she majored in Home Economics Education and was active in Shoemaker Co-op House on campus. Because of her activities and leadership activities on campus, in her senior year she was inducted into Mortar Board honorary. She graduated with a B.S. degree in 1957 and an M.S. in 1967 and was the first in her family to graduate from college. In 1981 she completed a PhD in education at the University of Minnesota.
In 1958 Mary Ann married a college boy friend who was in the Air Force and they lived in six states in the nine years of their marriage. They were separated in 1965 and divorced in 1967. At the time of their separation Mary Ann returned to Purdue to enter graduate school.
While in graduate school Mary Ann became friends with Maribel Rozendal, Lowery’s sister. Maribel suggested that she might like to get to know her big brother who lived in Minnesota. He was a divorcee who was raining three sons. After corresponding for several months they met at his parent’s home on Thanksgiving 1968 in Michigan. Things developed quickly and Mary Ann and Lowery were married on her parent’s farm near Boggstown, Indiana on August 23, 1969.
Throughout their married life they have thought God brought them together and has watched over them. She often said she was blessed with an instant family and that she couldn’t love the boys more if she had given birth to them. She enjoyed supporting them in their school activities and watching them develop into fine men. Through the years the addition of daughters-in-law and grandchildren made the family even more special to her.
Professionally Mary Ann taught high school Home Economics in five different schools in 4 states during her first marriage and for nine years at Columbia Heights (a suburb near Minneapolis, Minnesota). In 1978 she decided to work on her PhD at the University of Minnesota. She was a graduate instructor while working on her degree, supervising student teachers and teaching methods classes. Upon finishing her degree Mary Ann joined the faculty in the Home Economics Education Department where she organized and taught courses and advised graduate students who were educators with the Minnesota Extension Service. From 1991-1993 she served as Interim Assistant Director for Extension Home Economics and was on the leadership team for the College of Human Ecology. After 33 years of teaching, she retired as an associate professor from the faculty at the University of Minnesota in 1995.
Through the years and in retirement Mary Ann was active in professional and religious organizations including Bethlehem Covenant Church, the Minnesota Home Economics Association, Contact Telephone Counseling, Women in Leadership and Minnesota Walk to Emmaus. Lowery and Mary Ann were privileged to do short term Mission trips to Chile where they made 14 trips to work on construction, building churches and helping with maintenance at a girls’ orphanage. Through the years they have had several exchange students live with them and developed a passion for travel. They have traveled to six of the seven continents and shared this travel with parents and children on several occasions.
Even with Mary Ann and Lowery’s world travel they most treasure their Lake Superior place where they share time with family and friends. Family trips and gatherings to celebrate births, birthdays, weddings and other special events are some of the highlights in their retirement years.