John "Bob" Robert Lowther 1921 - 2011 Chanute

Paid family tribute

Long-time Kansas educator John Robert “Bob” Lowther, 89, died January 11, 2011, at Neosho Regional Memorial Hospital in Chanute, Kansas.
Services will be held at the Byers Avenue United Methodist Church at 10 a.m. on Saturday, November 15. Burial will be in Ozark Memorial Cemetery, Joplin, MO. Visitation will be from 6-7 p.m. on Friday, January 14 at Parker Mortuary, Joplin.
Mr. Lowther was born in Granby, Mo., November 28, 1921, the son of John F. and Edna (Kenney) Lowther. He attended rural elementary schools in Cherokee County and graduated from Riverton High School in 1940.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Dorothy Lea Carr, and two children: Marcia Longberg, Chanute, and John Robert Lowther II, Lawrence; three grandchildren Michelle Loomis and husband Matt of Humboldt, KS, Christie Williams and husband Justin, Olathe, KS, and Benjamin Longberg and wife Kelly of Huntsville, AL. He is also survived by two great-grandsons, Joel S. Williams and Jacob Robert Williams, both of Olathe. He was preceded in death by his parents, and two sisters, Mary Ann Kinion and Virginia Dobkins.
After high school graduation, he worked for a time as a toolmaker for Boeing Air Craft, Wichita, before joining the Merchant Marine during World War II. He served on merchant ships in the North Atlantic. He was a crew member on ships carrying troops into Normandy during the D-Day Invasion of France.
After the war, he worked on heavy equipment in mines in the Pitcher-Cardin area.
He attended Joplin Junior College and earned his teaching certificate. He completed his B.S. in Education from what was then Kansas State Teachers College in Pittsburg. He earned his M.S. in Education from KSTC in 1956.
In 1949 Mr. Lowther began teaching sixth grade at Riverton. Then in 1956, he became the Riverton Elementary School principal.
In 1963 he accepted a position as principal of Centennial Elementary School in Lawrence and in l965 he was tapped to design and open an open-space public school in Lawrence, Broken Arrow, where students were allowed to progress according to their ability level, rather than be bound by their grade level. He was seen as an innovator in development of school curriculum and raising student achievement levels.
He served as principal in Lawrence, Kansas, for 23 years before he retired.
For many years Mr. Lowther was Sunday school superintendent for the Riverton Friends Church. He was a board member of the Byers Avenue United Methodist Church in Joplin, and for many years he was a Sunday school teacher at Byers Avenue.
He was past president of the Ariel Nims Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution in Joplin, a member of the Freeman Hospital Home Care Board of Directors, Cherokee County Retired Teachers Association, and Phi Delta Kappa (education honorary).

This information was provided to the Journal-World as a paid tribute.