By Maggie Cassidy
Valley News Staff Writer
Kenneth Lowery’s daughters pushed his wheelchair into his wife’s hospital room. As Wauneta Lowery lay in a coma, he sat by her side, and took her hand in his.
A few days later, in the waning hours of March 8, Kenneth Lowery died at age 83. Seven days after that, at age 78, Wauneta Lowery died.
They both died in Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, where they had been admitted for brain hemorrhages — his suffered during a bad fall, hers the result of an aneurysm. She ultimately succumbed to the bleeding, after he had died of heart and kidney failure.
During the six decades leading up to that week, the Lowerys had built a life together — a partnership built on quick wit and polka dances; on light-hearted teasing and openhearted generosity; on summers with family and friends at Mascoma Lake, where if you weren’t careful, Ken might have tossed you into the water; and on larger-than-life Christmases at their home in Hartland, an event so highly anticipated that their four daughters often spent the early hours each year quivering at the top of the staircase, overcome by excitement.
They shared traditional values: life and land, God and country. A retired U.S. Army Major and past commander of the National Guard, he served 23 years in active duty, including a year in Germany during the Korean conflict, and the couple were active members at American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts. They attended Mass every week at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Windsor.
But above all else, the Lowerys loved their four daughters, 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, supporting them to the point of “spoiled,” two of their daughters joked.
As one of their granddaughters put it, it was rare they missed a chance to boast about the forays and accomplishments of their familial “mini empire.”
It was a pride and a love that persevered through — and, perhaps, was even strengthened by — the unthinkable, when they lost their eldest daughter and three grandchildren in a murder-suicide in 1986. Continue reading