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Lowrie Wilson McNeill was born on July 25, 1928 in Abbeville County, SC and died on September 30, 2019 in Davidson, NC. Lowrie was the son of William David McNeill Sr. and Carrie Metts McNeill.
Lowrie served in the US Army Corps of Engineers from 1950-1952, in Newfoundland, Greenland and Baffin Island.
After the Army, he returned to Abbeville. In 1953 Lowrie married Nancy Ann Head, a friend of his sisters at Sharon High School. Lowrie worked as a butcher and meat market manager for Winn Dixie in Abbeville, SC and then Belton, SC before moving to Seneca, SC in 1963. Lowrie was employed for many years at Pelfrey Lumber Company. Lowrie became quite a woodworker. He collected and stored cherry, walnut, and ash lumber, which he made into cabinets and furniture for the home that he and Nancy built on Lake Keowee.
Lowrie and Nancy had an abiding love for wildflowers. A large portion of their yard on Lake Keowee was given over to native species collected during trips throughout the southeast. Many of the flowers were collected in conjunction with Clemson University in the early 1970’s in Jocassee Valley and surrounding areas prior to the impoundment of Lake Jocassee. Saving and relocating these specimens helped form the early core of the Botanical Gardens in Clemson.
Lowrie, a lifelong Presbyterian, was a member of Lebanon Presbyterian in Abbeville, Belton Presbyterian, Seneca Presbyterian and Lebanon again in his retirement years, serving as a Deacon in every congregation. He was active in the American Legion, serving as post commander of Seneca Post 120 and District 6 Commander as well as the VFW.
Lowrie was always active in his children’s lives. He was at their sports competitions, serving on the Girl Scout Troop 279 committee and helping with camping trips. He was the assistant Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 226 in Seneca. Lowrie and his son were one of only a few father/son pairs to be inducted into the Order of the Arrow simultaneously.
Five years after the death of his wife, Nancy, Lowrie returned to Abbeville. He married Mary Hughes in 1985. During his retirement years in Abbeville, Lowrie and Mary were fond of growing daylilies and cross breeding them to produce many varied colors and variations.
Lowrie and his sister in-law Dr. Constance Timmerman McNeill spent years compiling and publishing the family history, Descendants of Andrew McNeill of Killyglen, County Antrim, Ireland and Related Families. He spent countless hours seeking out, photographing and maintaining the graves of relatives throughout the region.
Since mid-2017, Lowrie enjoyed living at Williams Place in Davidson, NC and made many friends there. He was well known for constant his “two thumbs up” attitude, his daylilies, his kindness to others and his love of Clemson football. Always caring for others, Lowrie visited and prayed with residents at Williams Place who were ill, lonely or had few visitors. He was a member of the cornhole team and president of the Garden Club.
Lowrie is survived by his two children, Angela (Angie) McNeill Grooms (and her husband Joe) and Anthony (Tony) Keith McNeill (and his wife Margaret.). One of 9 siblings, he is survived by one brother, George Wallace McNeill and 3 sisters – Minnie McNeill Epting, Virginia McNeill Richburg and Eunice McNeill Head. Lowrie was predeceased by his wife of 26 years and mother of his children, Nancy Head McNeill.He was predeceased by his parents, one sister, Ellen McNeill Pettigrew, and 3 brothers – William David McNeill, Jr., Marion Porter McNeill, Sr. and Charles Rayford McNeill. He was also predeceased by his second wife Mary Hughes McNeill.
A Celebration of Life service will be held in the Lingle Chapel at Davidson College Presbyterian Church, 100 N Main Street, Davidson, NC on Saturday, October 12th at 2:00 p.m. Interment will be held on Sunday, October 13th at 1:30 p.m. at Oconee Memorial Park, 1923 Blue Ridge Blvd, Seneca, SC.
The family wishes to express their appreciation of the wonderful love and care that Lowrie received from family friends and neighbors, caregivers, his great friends at Williams Place and Hospice of Lake Norman.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to SC Botanical Garden,150 Discovery Lane, Clemson, SC 29634-0174 or Lake Norman Palliative and Hospice of Lake Norman, 705 Griffith St, Suite 203, Davidson, NC 28036.
Saturday, October 12, 2019
2:00 - 3:00pm (Eastern time)
Davidson College Presbyterian Church
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