Vashon Island, Washington
Sept. 28, 1936 — Oct. 24, 2015
Donald Raymond Lowrance, a retired teacher, principal and active member of the Clatskanie and Knappa communities for over 50 years, died peacefully in his sleep on Saturday, Oct. 24, at Island Elder Care Home located on Vashon Island, Washington. He was 79 years old, and had been a resident of Vashon for the past year.
A third generation Oregonian, Lowrance was born Sept. 28, 1936, in Cottage Grove, to Raymond Clyde Lowrance and Rosa Mary (Gindhart) Lowrance. The younger of two children, he grew up in Junction City, and graduated from JC High School, where he excelled in basketball, played trombone in the band and participated with Future Farmers of America youth programs.
He continued his education at Southern Oregon College, earning a teaching degree and graduating cum laude. He met his wife, Natalie Joyce MacDougall, while an intern teaching at Ashland Junior High School, and they were married in Medford on June 2, 1958.
Donald served two years in the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany, and moved to Clatskanie in the fall of 1960.
Lowrance taught high school biology and coached basketball and cross-country over the next 15 years, until he accepted a position as principal at Knappa High School. The family moved to Knappa for several years, and then relocated back to Clatskanie when Lowrance accepted a position as principal at Clatskanie High School.
After 11 years as CHS principal, he spent the next several years working for the Columbia School District 5J as director of instruction and managing the Talented and Gifted program. He retired in 1992, and was honored that summer as co-grand marshal for the Clatskanie Heritage Day celebration along with his longtime friend, Ron Puzey.
Lowrance was an active member of the Clatskanie Presbyterian Church and Kiwanis Club. After retirement, he coached several grade school basketball teams and mentored high school seniors to help them prepare for college exams. He served several years as a director of the Clatskanie Foundation. In 2001 he was awarded the City of Clatskanie’s Oren Tweet Community Service award.
He treasured his time tending his vegetable and flower gardens, including a garden for the Presbyterian Church, with the produce going to help feed low-income families in the community. He also enjoyed fishing in the Clatskanie and Columbia rivers, hunting deer, elk and antelope with Ron, and backpacking with his family throughout the states of Oregon and Washington.
He is survived by his daughter, Lori Lowrance of Vashon Island; his son, Jon Lowrance of Astoria; five grandchildren, Evan, Logan, Courage, Loyal and Faith; and his elder sister, Morene Condon, of Gladstone. His wife, Natalie, preceded him in death on Oct. 14, 2006.
A memorial service will be held at noon on Saturday, Nov. 21, at the Clatskanie Presbyterian Church, with Pastor Eric Huget officiating. A social time is planned following the service, and remembrances will be welcome.
Memorials are suggested to: Clatskanie Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 448, Clatskanie, OR, 97016 or the Clatskanie Memorial Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 243, Clatskanie, OR, 97016.
Mr. Lowrance will be cremated and interred at the Buxton Cemetery next to his late wife, mother and several related pioneers from the area.