Date of Death: March 11, 2023
Visitation will be from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Friday, March 17, 2023 at Hohner Funeral Home, 1004 Arnold St., Three Rivers. Services will be at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, March 18, 2023 at First Presbyterian Church, 320 Main St., Three Rivers, with Father James Smith officiating. Immediately following will be a luncheon and Celebration of Life at the church.
Yvonne Imogene Lowry of Marcellus, Mich., passed away Saturday, March 11, 2023, at Edgewood Health & Rehab in Three Rivers. An accomplished pianist, musician and director, Yvonne fully enjoyed the love of family and friends each one of her 88 years – equal to the number of keys on her upright Kimball piano.
Yvonne was born August 25, 1934, on Chicago’s South Side, the daughter of Raymond Nicholas and Juanita Theresa Bohne. Her talent tickling the ivories was discovered at the ripe old age of 2. Early classical training led to Yvonne playing with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra when she was 5 years old.
Following a courtship filled with dancing and shows, she married Thomas John Lowry on October 16, 1954, and embarked on their adventuresome collaborative journey. Their dance moves were smooth, their vocal harmonies captivating, and their theatrical productions flawless.
Nowhere was Yvonne more at home than in front of a keyboard, where she had a commanding presence. She could spellbind any size audience with her mastery and showmanship.
Hers was a life of performance. She played and directed in professional and community theaters throughout the Chicagoland area for decades. Following the family’s move to Michigan in the early 1970s, she did the same in Kalamazoo, Three Rivers, Watervliet, Allegan, Swift Lake and elsewhere. She frequently led touring productions of Broadway shows across the country, including extended runs in South Carolina, West Virginia and Arizona. She played and musically directed the Kennedy Center award-winning Quilters musical staged by the Western Michigan University Theatre Department.
She and Tom were the principals – and parents – of The Lowry Family Singers, who one year spent the entire summer performing in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She had regular gigs at restaurants and clubs as the musical entertainment as a solo pianist.
Yvonne also combined her deep faith with her God-given talent, playing for an ecumenical mix of Catholic, Methodist and Episcopalian churches in Marcellus, Three Rivers and Decatur. She had the profound and spiritually moving honor of twice leading the Holy Family Church Choir from Decatur to sing in numerous Catholic churches in Italy. Both trips culminated with Vatican performances in Rome in front of Pope John Paul 2. A “shrine” of framed photos and related memorabilia adorned the wall directly across from her favorite bench.
Music, dancing and laughter frequently filled her home. Yvonne was an avid reader and enjoyed entertaining, doing puzzles and cooking mystery meals. She was a member of the Business and Professional Women’s Club, Three Rivers Woman’s Club, Three Rivers Garden Club, various book clubs and others.
Yvonne was a most loving mother and was a pillar of strength for all. She is survived by her six children: Thomas and the late Susan, Raymond and the late Lynda Lou, Eva and Michael Yore, Patrick and Jennifer, Matthew, and Mark and Ellen; grandchildren Gabrielle and Caitlin, Sophia and Nicholas, Jacob and Erin (and their mother Marcia Hutchinson), Jessica and Allie; as well as great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 58 years, Tom; two daughters-in-law, Susan Lowry and Lynda Lou Lowry; a brother, Jerry; and her parents.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Three Rivers Promise, PO Box 405, Three Rivers, MI 49093.
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