Ernest W Lowry Jr, evangelist for churches of Christ, died peacefully in his sleep on October 22, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. Ernie loved people. He like to joke, laugh and sing. He enjoyed softball and basketball. He was an avid deer hunter and he cooked a delicious venison pepper steak.
Ernest Jr was born in Memphis TN on June 23, 1925, the first of 3 children born to Ernest W Lowry Sr and Mabel (Greer) Lowry. In April 1939, Ernest (Ernie) moved to Milwaukee WI with his mother and stepfather, Charles Blank along with his sister Joy and brother Harry.
Ernie enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1943 while a senior at Custer High School in Milwaukee. After graduation he trained at sea school in anti-aircraft gunnery. In 1944 he was assigned to the battleship USS Colorado from Pearl Harbor HI. He was involved in the Saipan, Tinian and Guam campaigns in the South Pacific during WWII. On D-Day in a battle at Tinian the USS Colorado was badly damaged and Ernie was wounded by shell fragments. After repairs to the USS Colorado in Bremerton WA, the ship returned to battle in the Philippine Islands. There the USS Colorado was attacked and damaged by a Kamikaze Bomber wounding Ernie with burns and shrapnel. He was awarded 2 purple hearts and was honorably discharged at the end of the war.
On April 1, 1945, Ernie was united in marriage with his high school sweetheart, Audrey Ziorgen. To this 56 year marriage were born six children; Roger (Debra) Lowry of Northglenn CO, Sandra Blanchard (James, deceased) of Las Vegas NM, Gary, (deceased), Susan (Dave) Grimes of Elkhorn NE, Carrie (Todd) Johnson of West Des Moines IA and Chad (Heather) of Iowa City IA. Ernie is survived by his sister, Joy Thorn of Waupaca WI, 17 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren as well as nieces and nephews.
During his early working years, Ernie was a dairy farmer, truck driver, property manager, and insurance agent. Ernie began traveling on Sundays to preach at numerous towns in Wisconsin. In 1970 he began preaching full time. He preached for 37 years, including Tomah, Sparta, Black River Falls, Chippewa Falls, Marshfield and Crandon. He spent a 17 year period at Pine Hill Church near Fall Hall Glen WI. In 2001 he returned to Janesville to minister for 7 more years until his retirement at age 82. Ernie was one of the Founders of Wisconsin Christian Youth Camp where he served nearly every summer for more than 40 years.
After his retirement in 2008, Ernie moved to Colorado to live with his son, Roger (Deb) Lowry of Northglenn CO where he enjoyed mountain drives, baseball games and sunny days. In his final years, Ernie always ended his prayers with “Father, forgive our sins and give us peace.”
There will be a Memorial Service for Ernie on Saturday, November 14th at the Northwest Church of Christ at 11 am in Westminster CO.
Any memorial gifts on Ernie’s behalf should be made payable to Wisconsin Christian Youth Camp and mailed to Roger Lowry at PO Box 29130 Thornton CO 80229.