John Joseph Lowry, of Phoenix, passed away peacefully at home on April 17, 2023, with family members by his side after a ten-year journey with Alzheimer’s Disease. John was born on April 30, 1941, in Columbus, Ohio to Murvin and Anna (Hohmann) Lowry, the second of seven brothers.
John became a machinist and attended The Ohio State University where he graduated with a degree in Accounting, maintaining lifetime Buckeye blood. At OSU he met his wife, Marion Frey, and was married on December 18, 1971. He was a tactical fighter pilot, flying F-100’s and A7D’s in the Ohio Air National Guard, earning the rank of Major. John worked for the U.S. Treasury, with the IRS as a Special Agent for the Criminal Investigation Division for 15 years and U.S. Customs as an Air Interdiction Officer for 12 years, until retirement in 1998.
An expert on the paper trail, he loved researching genealogy and creating collages of pictures and complex information. The family moved to Phoenix in 1986 and enjoyed taking annual cross-country trips to visit family and friends while visiting national parks in the 48 continental U.S. states.
John is survived by his wife of 51 years, Marion (Frey); son John (Michelle Phelan), daughter Jennifer (Mark Arnold), daughter Susan (Ken Brown), son Reverend Matthew, and daughter Ann (Ryan Howe); nine grandchildren; younger brothers, Jerry and James. He is predeceased by his parents, and brothers Robert, Thomas, William, and Michael.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Theresa Catholic Church, 5045 E. Thomas Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018, on Tuesday, April 25, 2023, at 10:00 AM. Visitation will occur on April 24, 2023, at St. Theresa Catholic Church from 5:00-7:00 PM, with a service at 7:00 PM. Burial to follow at St. Francis Catholic Cemetery.
In place of flowers, donations may be made to the Foundation for Senior Living (fsl.org), Hospice of the Valley (hov.org), or Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org). Condolences may be expressed at www.whitneymurphyfuneralhome.com.
Fr. Matt, my prayers are with you and your family. I lost my father to Alzheimer’s. It’s a difficult and slow good-bye. He’s now in the loving arms of our Lord. Passing that peace and comfort embrace you. God bless….
Cliff and Laurie Bakemeier
Dear Lowry family, Cliff and I are truly sorry for your loss. We know GOD gave you many great years with him.
You are all in our prayers. If you need anything please let us know.
Love, Cliff and Laurie
I started my career in the Columbus office. John was my mentor and a good friend. From that group we all share good memories. He is gone but never forgotten.
Worked with John for several years with the old U.S. Customs Service. He was a great colleague and friend. He will be missed by all.
John was a senior IRS criminal investigator in Columbus, Ohio when I, along with 5 other “youngsters”, was hired. John was an outstanding example of how to do the job for which we were hired. I remember a lot of very good times with John. John greatly enjoyed sharing his humor and experience with all. I know I speak for all Columbus agents in saying he will be greatly missed and we thank him for the time we shared; each of us have many “John Lowry” stories”. Condolences to his family
Marianne Soper & Family
John was our neighbor in Phoenix for more than 40 years. So thoughtful, caring, and friendly, did what he could to help out. It was a blessing when you and your family moved in, made the neighborhood a more friendly place to live. We have fond memories of our dinners together with you and Marion and hear the stories of your days as a government agent. John was a great “neighborhood watch” person, always felt safe knowing he was keeping an eye out for everyone, which was more than appreciated. He will be missed but remembered always, especially through those that loved him and valued his friendship. Our hearts and prayers go out to Marion and his children, and grandchildren. May God bless and keep you all.
Rob and Ricki Lowry
Uncle John will be sorely missed by Ricki and me, and we miss he and Aunt Marion’s visits during their cross-country trips. I’ve had nothing but the utmost respect for how Uncle John lived his life, and he was a great example for all to follow. I especially miss his “fly bys” when I was a kid living out in the country west of Columbus. We’d get a phone call from Uncle John telling us to look outside in the field behind our house and moments later, a jet would drop down and twirl as it flew over the field. Just as quickly, the jet was gone as it was on its way to a training field in Indiana. It really left an impression on me, and I wanted to be a fighter pilot if I ever joined the military. Fly high and free, Uncle John!
I met John in 1982 when I came to the Columbus, OH IRS-CID office and had contact with him there until he transferred with Customs to Phoenix, AZ in 1986. He was a unique person who I and many others won’t forget. He had both a great sense of humor and great patience. I still recall him being involved in the retrial of a Columbus attorney charged with tax evasion. There were some 400+/- witnesses who had to be served with trial subpoenas. The entire office was involved. John tried to inject some humor into the subpoena issuance process by keeping a spread sheet of all subpoenas served and yet to be served, and awarding gold and silver stars to those investigators serving the most subpoenas. May John now rest in peace!
I first met John when I transferred to the Columbus, Ohio IRS office in 1980. From the start, I was impressed with his dry sense of humor and his professional knowledge. John was the go-to guy for information on organized crime in Columbus. But you better have some time on your hands because John will tell you everything he knows and then some. John was not all business, however. I have several fond memories of camping with him and our families, especially the annual Special Agents Convention at Grand Lake St. Marys. There are numerous John Lowry stories from his days with the IRS in Columbus. The funniest one I witnessed occurred at the Centurion Club on South High Street. The Centurion Club was a bar operated by the local Fraternal Order of Police. One night a bunch of us were in there doing the “bunny hop”. Suddenly, a revolver fell on to the dance floor. John did not miss a beat and retrieved his weapon after the song ended. John Lowry was a great cop, husband and father. He was also a patriot. He will be missed, but not forgotten.
Marion and family, my sincere condolences on the passing of John. He was such a great co-worker and was one of the most interesting person that I ever knew. I thank him for his service and may he rest in peace.