Roscoe Lowry of Chehalis, Wash., recently turned 100 years old. He retired in Chehalis in 1987 after working his entire career as a missionary for the Adventist Church in south Asia, headquartered in India.
He was born in 1918 in Bangalore, India, of missionary parents. Later, after graduating from college in the U.S., he returned to India at the age of 22 with his wife, Louise, and 6-month-old daughter, Lobeth.
Later three more children were added to the family: Lyvern, Carter and Priya.
For the first part of his career he worked mainly in the field of education both as teacher and principal and many years as educational secretary overseeing all levels of the many Adventist schools in southern Asia. He furthered his education during furloughs, receiving his master’s degree in education and later a doctorate in education and philosophy.
He was an energetic, forward thinker and a skilled administrator who enjoyed his work with students and teachers alike. To this day, former students and even children of his students regard him with fondness and admiration.
The last half of his career he served as a vice president for the General Conference, serving as the Southern Asia Division president for 16 years. His travel stories through the years were both entertaining and hair-raising. He survived hardships, dangers and street food and had the satisfaction of assisting in bringing hope and new ways of dealing with life’s challenges to the people he served.
After retiring in Chehalis, he attacked his new life with the same gusto and enthusiasm he had while working in India. He remodeled the home he bought and enjoyed designing new landscaping and doing the yard work. He was faithful with a rigorous exercise program and took up snow skiing as a beginner in his 70s, taking lessons alongside students of nearby Lewis County Adventist School.
Roscoe and Louise enjoyed their motor home and the trips taken to the East Coast, southern states and Canada.
His 100th birthday was celebrated with a lot of fun and good food for about four days over the holidays. Of course, a good Indian feast was included. All four of his children and other family members were able to come from far and wide to celebrate their father, grandfather and great-grandfather “Papa” and a life well-lived. On Jan. 4, his actual birthday, a party was held at Chehalis West Assisted Living, where Roscoe resides.
Although his ability to get around is becoming more limited, he can be seen daily out in the halls in his wheelchair, but more and more time is spent parked in front of the fireplace soaking up the heat. His advice for aging gracefully: “Roll with the punches!”
Roscoe wishes he could do more these days but with his sense of humor and wit remarked recently, “I am gaining proficiency at sitting.” He regularly and often expresses his gratitude for God’s goodness, for his care at Chehalis West Assisted Living, and for his family and friends who visit him.