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Kathleen (Collins) Lowery of Benton

  • Kathleen (Collins) Lowery

    Kathleen (Collins) Lowery

updated: 11/6/2017 2:17 PM

BENTON -- Kathleen (Collins) Lowery passed away peacefully on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, in Helia Healthcare Center in Benton at the age of 86.

She was born Dec. 12, 1930, in Benton, the daughter of Clyde and Ethel Collins, who owned and operated several local restaurants in Benton. She attended Benton Township High School, where she was homecoming queen and named Miss Benton.

In 1948, she married Warren Mitchell and was widowed in 1951 as a result of the Orient No. 2 Mine disaster. In 1953, she married Clarence "Red" Lowery, and together they shared over 61 years of marriage together.

Mrs. Lowery was part of the first graduating class of Rend Lake College in Ina. She then attended Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, where she earned her bachelor's degree and master's studies.

For nearly two decades, Mrs. Lowery was an educator at Benton Consolidated High School, where she taught English, reading and literature. During her time, she was known as a dedicated, caring and fun teacher who took interest in each student she met.

Whether it was teaching one of the literature classics or participating in homecoming skits, Mrs. Lowery was always enthusiastic and a good sport. She helped many students succeed in school and earn their diplomas, despite their background, economic struggles or situations in life that may have prevented them. She found personal success in her students' achievements and stayed connected with many throughout her life.

Mrs. Lowery was an active member of the Benton community. She was a member of the Illinois Education Association and previously served on the executive board of the Franklin County Retired Teachers Association, making yearly trips to the state capitol to meet with legislators and advocate for issues for retired educators.

She was also a past president of the American Association of University Women in Benton.

As a longtime member of First Baptist Church, she served as a deacon and member of the church choir. She also was a member of the Lucy Helm Mission Circle, where she volunteered her time in service of others, whether it was delivering meals to those who were homebound, gathering supplies for families in need, or teaching Sunday school.

Together with her husband, Mrs. Lowery traveled all over the world, including to her favorite places, Spain, Mexico and the Bahamas, and making frequent trips to Florida to visit her children and grandchildren. She was a gifted artist, whose paintings and drawings now hang in her family's homes, and a talented writer, who was known for writing witty poems for faculty retirements and special occasions.

She also enjoyed boating on Rend Lake, tending to her garden and flowers, and caring for the many pets and animals that resided at her home over the past 40 years, including her most beloved dog, Rusty.

Above all else, Mrs. Lowery took pride in her family and loved spending time with them, along with her many friends. She will be remembered as someone who brought warmth, generosity and kindness to all of those around her.

Survivors include her children, Lynn Alligood and husband Bob, and Cindy Lowery, all of Jacksonville Beach, Florida, and Robert Lowery and wife Lisa of Benton; grandchildren, Kathleen Wubker and husband Brian of Virginia Beach, Virginia, Olivia Lowery of Sister Bay, Wisconsin, Christopher Lowery of Springfield, Clarence Wade Lowery of Jacksonville, Florida, Ryan Lowery of Benton and Mackenzie Lowery of Neptune Beach, Florida; great-grandchildren, Lillian Kathleen Warpinski, Sophia Wubker, Bennett Wubker, Oliver Reichel and Christian Reichel; nephew, Bill Lowery of Benton; sister, Kay Cheek of Pinckneyville; many nieces; and other nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husbands; parents; sister, Ramona Hill; and son, Clarence Clyde "C.C." Lowery.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, in First Baptist Church in Benton with the Rev. Alan Newman and the Rev. Jim Jenkel officiating. Burial will be in Knob Prairie Cemetery near Akin. Visitation will be from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Benton/West City Ministerial Alliance or American Humane Society and will be accepted at Leffler Funeral Home in Benton.

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