On Saturday, October 6, 2018, Joanne Joslin Lowry of Harvard MA, loving wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, passed away peacefully at the age of 73.
Joanne was born in Boston on November 19, 1944 to Margaret Roper Joslin and Frank Richardson Joslin. She and her twin sister Judy were the youngest of 6 children. She married Kieran James Lowry III in 1971, and moved to Harvard in 1978, where they raised two sons, Jamie (Kieran IV) and Justin. Joanne was a doting mom and was very involved in many organizations and events around Harvard, including the Cub Scouts, the Harvard Post, the Harvard Storytelling Festival, the Harvard Flea Market, and the Harvard Unitarian Church. She loved to go on camping trips with her family, including going back to the same campsite every year at Acadia National Park, and relaxing at her "oceanfront property." Many summer days were spent at Acadia having picnics while watching the waves crash, spotting seals and whales, and hiking Gorham Mountain and picking wild blueberries at the summit. Many summer nights were spent reading by the fire, playing Yahtzee or Monopoly, and eating s'mores complete with very overcooked marshmallows. In later years, Kieran and Joanne would travel cross country in their motor home on a quest to enjoy all of the National Parks.
Joanne had a beautiful singing voice and loved music of all kinds. She was a member of the Sharing A New Song chorus for over 30 years, an organization whose mission is to reach across social and political boundaries to promote intercultural understanding. In that time, she travelled extensively and fostered lifelong friendships in countries throughout the world, including South Africa, Russia, Cuba, Estonia, Vietnam, and China. She also travelled with SANS and shared musical traditions throughout the southern United States, developing connections with the native people of the Gullah Islands and the Houma Native American tribe in Louisiana. She spent many years serving as Administrative Director for SANS, spending countless hours putting together the details of the trip itineraries. She had a special passion for supporting the SANS scholarship fund, enabling many others to travel and to create their own treasured memories. In 2011, the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women recognized her for her work enriching the lives of others through Sharing A New Song when they named her as an Unsung Heroine of Massachusetts. She was so passionate and devoted to SANS that she has often been described as the "heart and soul" of Sharing A New Song.
When she wasn't singing, Joanne was an avid antique collector and dealer, and specialized in Shaker antiques. She loved to tell the stories behind her pieces and to sell her wares every year at the Harvard Flea Market, as well as at an antique shop in Concord. She enjoyed watching sappy romantic comedies over and over, cheering on the Red Sox and she delighted at putting together a tough jigsaw puzzle. She was also an excellent writer and editor, and would let you know if your punctuation was incorrect!
Above all else, she was so caring, so supportive, and so proud of her family. She was constantly concerned about the well-being of her friends. She adored her two grandchildren, Amelia and KJ Lowry, and loved to spoil them with her famous chocolate chip cookies, trips to Erikson's for ice cream, or trips to the toy store. They loved sharing silly jokes and bedtime kisses. Their Grammy will be terribly missed.
She was preceded in death by her twin sister Judy, sister Nancy, and brother Robert.
She is survived by her husband Kieran, her son and daughter-in-law Kieran and Heather Lowry and their two children Amelia and KJ, her son Justin Lowry and his partner Teresa Meier, her sister and brother-in-law Patricia and Gerald Heggie, and her brother Frank Richardson Joslin, Jr. She also leaves 17 nieces and nephews and 24 great nieces and nephews.
A musical celebration of her life will be held on November 25th, 2018 at 3pm at the First Parish Church at 630 Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington, MA. All are welcome to attend.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in her honor are made to the Sharing A New Song Scholarship Fund. Donations payable to SANS, Inc. can be sent to: 10 Court Street #32, Arlington, MA 02476. Online donations can be made online at https://sanschorus.org/support/. Please note "scholarship fund" on the donation page.