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William M. (Bill) Lowry, 93, of Champaign passed away peacefully at home Saturday, February 3, 2018.
Bill was born May 17, 1924 in Champaign, and married Lucille Early in 1950. She preceded him in death in 1991.
He also was preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Josephine (Lannon), 2 brothers, Robert and Lyle, a sister, Kay Greger, a daughter, Kathleen Bridges, and a grandson, Shane Lowry.
He is survived by his children, Sheila Kite (Mack) of Urbana, Michael (Susan) and Sean (Karen) both of Champaign, Julie Meece (Gerry) of Venice, FL, Brian (Cristal) of Sadorus, Terry (Roxane) of Urbana, and Dennis (Laura) of St. Louis, MO, 17 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Bill graduated from Champaign High School in 1942 and a few months later, in January 1943, he enlisted in the Army. He served as a medic throughout Europe until 1946. Bill considered his WWII service to be one of the most significant parts of his life. Following his return home, he continued his education and in 1950 earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Illinois. In 1954, he opened the Lowry Insurance Agency.
Bill loved to laugh. He was a known prankster and quick with a joke or story of past hijinks. He and Lucy both loved spending time with friends and family, especially summer weekends at Lake Mattoon or gatherings at the Knights of Columbus. In his younger years, he enjoyed outdoor activities such as camping and boating and was an avid runner even into his 70s. He completed morning crossword puzzles until Glaucoma and Macular Degeneration took his eyesight. He tried to never miss an episode of Dr. Phil.
Bill was proud of his Irish heritage. He held dual citizenship with Ireland and the US and visited Ireland on multiple occasions.
Over the years, Bill’s insurance agency expanded and, in 1997 he retired as a partner of the Cox, Lowry and Marsh Insurance Agency, and of Windsor Realty, and moved to Venice, FL. He returned to Central Illinois in 2013 to be closer to his family.
In Venice, FL, Bill was a High School mentor as well as a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, where he served as Commander of his local post, the American Legion, serving as Vice Commander, and Disabled American Veterans. He served twice as Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus in Champaign, IL.
The Visitation will be from 4:00-7:00pm on Tuesday February 6 at Owens Funeral Home, 101 N. Elm St., Champaign. A funeral mass will be celebrated at 10:00 on Wednesday February 7 at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 405 W. Clark Street, Champaign. The Rev. Fr. Joseph Donton will officiate. Burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery, Urbana, IL at a later date.
In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, donations may be made to: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.