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Houston Edward Lowe

Obituary for Houston Edward Lowe

November 28, 1919 - November 1, 2018
San Antonio, Texas | Age 98

MSgt USAF (Retired), American WWII Ex-POW, 68-year Resident - San Antonio, Texas

Obituary

Houston Edward Lowe passed peacefully from the loving arms of his daughters into the embrace of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, November 1, 2018. He is survived by three daughters and sons-in-law; Toni Lee Serene and Fred L. Serene, Jr., LTC USA (Retired), Pipe Creek, Texas; Terri Lyn Rodriguez and Victor V. Rodriguez, SMSgt, USAFR (Retired), San Antonio, Texas; and Dr. Tina Leslie Farrell and Terry W. Farrell, Friendswood, Texas; three granddaughters and grandsons-in-law; Shannon Lee (Nelson-Serene) Roblyer and Aaron Major Roblyer, Forney, Texas; Jennifer Elizabeth (Serene) Fernandez and Federico Torres Fernandez, Devine, Texas; Brandilyn ReneƩ (Farrell) Trobaugh and Brian Scott Trobaugh, League City, Texas; seven great-grandsons, Brandon Tyler, Caleb Lane and Logan Major Roblyer, Seth Shamus, Zackary Alejandro, Jared Israel and Noah Wyatt Fernandez; four great-granddaughters, Taylor Christine and Camdyn Belle Trobaugh, Kylenn Faith and Addison Grace Tolopka and one great-great-grandson, Austin Michael Roblyer; great-granddaughter-in-law, Amanda Roblyer (Brandon's wife), sister-in-law, Mattie Jean (Peterson) Jones, many nieces, nephews, extended family members and friends. He is reunited in heaven with his parents Nora Ellen (Pace) Lowe Dosher and Houston Lee Lowe, his beloved wife of 49 years, Lee Beth (Peterson) Lowe, his infant daughter and his six siblings. Born in Glen Rose, Texas, he was the son of a sharecropper father and homemaker mother. As a boy, he and his family endured very difficult times during the Great Depression. He honored his parents with reverence and spoke frequently throughout his life about their teachings. He shared memorable stories about his country Christian upbringing and his favorite farm-working animal friends, "Waitus" the mule and "Charlie" the Belgian draft horse. Joining President FDR's Civilian Conservation Corps as a teen, 1936-1940, introduced him to a future career in food service and enabled him to send wages home to assist his mother. Enlisting in the US Army Air Corps at Fort Sam Houston, February 11, 1941, he began a military career spanning 31 years, 5 months and 18 days. Initially assigned to the Pacific Theater on Corregidor Island in the Philippine Islands, he served under the command of General Douglas MacArthur. May 6, 1942, American troops surrendered to the Japanese. He was officially designated a prisoner-of-war (POW), January 17, 1943. As a POW, he was transferred to many prison camps and participated in a 12-mile "death march." August 1944, he boarded a Japanese freighter, the "Hell Ship" Noto Maru, and was transported from Manila to Japan. The freighter was targeted by Allied submarines unaware of its precious "cargo." Two deep-running torpedoes failed to detonate. "Hell Ship" survivors were taken to Shikoku Island, Zentsugi Mukiashima Hiroshima POW Sub-camp #4. August 6, he viewed the glow of the Hiroshima atomic bomb blast, 100 miles away. Until liberated, September 15, 1945, he was bathed with nuclear fallout, blown by the Pacific Ocean trade winds, later being designated an "Atomic Soldier." As a result of this radiation exposure, cancer, in various forms and locations, became his constant companion, beginning in the 1960's. Captive 40 months, his life as a POW was brutal. He survived starvation, inhumane treatment, was utilized as slave labor, was a witness to unspeakable atrocities, and suffered from and survived many life-threatening diseases. After treatment at Letterman Army Hospital, San Francisco, and recuperation at home, he opted to remain on active duty. While on furlough, he met and married the love of his life, Lee Beth Peterson. They were wed, February 24, 1946, and he then began his military food service career. He transferred to the US Air Force in 1949, had 2 overseas assignments and spent most of his career at Lackland Air Force Base. His USAF medical retirement was August 1, 1972. January 3, 1986, he belatedly received 11 WWII medals, to include the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, in a special ceremony at Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C. Major General John Lawson Ballantyne, III, presided. Although his POW experience was most assuredly the signature event of his life, it did not define him. He was an "in sickness and in health and until death do us part" husband and loved and cared for his wife until she succumbed to her own illnesses, March 10, 1995. He was a long-time member of Trinity United Methodist Church. A 64-year Master Mason, he served as Worshipful Master (1989-1990) of Lonnie Irvin Daylight Lodge #1309 AF and AM, San Antonio, and was a 32nd degree KCCH in the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. He was a lifetime member of the organization, American Ex-Prisoners of War, founded in 1942. In recent years, his daughters were privileged to have accompanied him on several trips. October 2015, they participated in an Honor Flight San Antonio de Valero to visit the National WWII Memorial and other Washington, D.C. sites. In April 2016, they visited Disney World. He was honored as the "Disney Veteran of the Day," April 7, at a US flag retreat ceremony and parade. October, 2016, he returned to his beloved Glen Rose. There, the Honorable Mayor Sam Moody awarded him the keys to the city, the Glen Rose Star pin and read a proclamation on the courthouse steps, announcing "Houston E. Lowe Day," October 22. During a second visit to Glen Rose, May 26, 2017, he received a Glen Rose High School graduation diploma, completing an interrupted education. Although molded by the hardships of his first quarter century, he never lost his kindness and gentleness. No daughter could have asked for a better or sweeter Daddy. He was always there for his girls and graced each one with his last "I love you" the day before he passed away. A man from "the Greatest Generation," his wisdom, broad shoulders, kind heart and endearing laugh will be sorely missed. He leaves behind his greatest legacy, a loving family and a lifetime of memories for all who were privileged to have known him. His life has been blessed with many "miracles." Angels and the Lord have surely protected him all of his earthly days. Heartfelt appreciation is extended to the command and staff at Brooke Army Medical Center for not only their medical expertise, but also for their kindness and sensitivity during his final days. Their concern for the family was genuine throughout the care of this retired airman and former soldier, as he was welcomed into the open arms of Jesus Christ. His triad was honoring God, adoring his family and cherishing his country. He always replied when thanked for his service, "I served my country from a prison camp during WWII and I would do it all over again, if it would keep the flag flying over America one more day. God bless the United States of America!" We salute you, humble patriot, beloved Daddy and Poppie.

VISITATION
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2018
7:00-9:00 PM
PORTER LORING MORTUATRY NORTH

SERVICE
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2018
11:00 AM
PORTER LORING MORTUARY NORTH

Interment will follow in Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery. The family welcomes flowers or donations to the following: American Ex-POW, (www.axpow.org), American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org) or Train a Dog Save a Warrior (www.tadsaw.org).

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Suggested Memorial Donations

  • Donate to the American Cancer Society

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Porter Loring Mortuary North

2102 North Loop 1604 East
San Antonio, TX 78232
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