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Joseph R. Lowery 1924-2014

Joseph LoweryJoseph R. Lowery, 90, born Wednesday, May 28, 1924, in Belleville, Ill., died Friday, Dec. 19, 2014, at Cedarhurst in Shiloh, Ill.

Joseph was a graduate of Belleville Township High School Class of 1942. He attended Milliken University and was later called to duty in February 1943, assigned to the Army Air Corp, and later to the 362nd Fighter Group. He served in several battles in Europe including Normandy and received silver and bronze battle stars, a Good Conduct Medal, Distinguished Unit Badge, and Silver Oak Leaf Cluster.

Joseph graduated from the University of Illinois College of Commerce with a degree in accountancy and a minor in economics in 1947 and from the University of Illinois Law School in 1950.

He practiced law for 60 years at three law firms during his career: Pope and Driemeyer, Thompson Coburn, and Greensfelder Hemker & Gale.

In addition to his law career, he served as the director for the following for-profit corporations: Illinois State Trust Company, Magna Group, Marsh Company, JMJ Industries, Inc., Illinois Electric Works, Inc., Missouri Electric Sales & Services, Inc., Rapid Sales & Service, Inc., Wise Communications, Inc., Eckert Companies, Peerless Enamel Products Company, East St. Louis Castings Co., and First National Bank of Belleville.

He also served as director for the following not-for-profit organizations: Leadership Council of Southwestern Illinois, East St. Louis Chamber of Commerce, St. Clair Country Club, McKendree College Board of Trustees, Southwestern Illinois College Foundation, Memorial Hospital, Memorial Foundation, Memorial Health Services, Southwestern Illinois Health Ventures Inc., Southwestern Illinois Visiting Nurse Association, Board of Visitors of the University of Illinois College of Law, and the United Way of East St. Louis, St. Clair County, and Greater St. Louis Area.

Joseph received the Business Excellence Award from Belleville Economic Progress, the Distinguished Citizens Award from Boy Scouts of America Okay Valley Council, and the United Way Distinguished Community Service Award.

He was a member of the American Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, St. Clair County Bar Association, American Law Institute, Illinois Society of Certified Public Accountants, Leadership Council of SW Illinois, East St. Louis Bar Association, First United Presbyterian Church, Bar Association for Seventh Council Court of Appeals, and Metropolitan St. Louis Bar Association.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph Raymond and Ella Helen Lowery; first wife, Shirley Ellsman Lowery; second wife, Betty Jo Lowery; brother, Raymond Lowery; and sisters, Velma Budde, Verna "Rink" Wuller and Jeannie Mann.

Surviving are his sons, David (Susan) Lowery of Dallas, Texas, and Paul (Sara) Lowery of Belleville, Ill.; daughters, Jane (Greg) Schmitt of Fort Wayne, Ind., and Margaret J. Lowery of Belleville, Ill.; stepchildren, Paul (Connie) Meyer of Colleyville, Texas, and Libby Glasgow of Dothan, Ala.; sister, June Wuller of Belleville, Ill.; grandchildren, Sara Quirk, Steven Lowery, David Schmitt, Michael Schmitt, Allison Lowery, Emily Lowery and Caroline Lowery; and a great-grandson, Neil Quirk.

The family would like to thank the staff of Cedarhurst Shiloh and Heartland Hospice for the care and support they gave him during his final days.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the University of Illinois Law School or the Memorial Hospital Foundation-Building Fund East. Condolences may be expressed online at

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Posted on January 14, 2015 by Chris Bonjean