In Memoriam of Susan J. Lowry
Former mayor's wife was active in Three Rivers
By Jef Rietsma
February 26, 2010, 8:37AM
THREE RIVERS — Tom Lowry remembers being turned down both times he asked the former Susan Hotovy for dates in the summer of 1993.
But persistence paid off, the former mayor of Three Rivers said.
“I asked her a third time and she told me she didn't have an excuse not to,” Lowry recalled. “Six weeks after our first date, I proposed, and six weeks later (on Dec. 11, 1993), we were married.”
Through more than 16 years of marriage, the Three Rivers natives traveled the world, spent many rainy evenings reading books and took time to enjoy simple pleasures. Lowry said he will miss everything about his wife, Susan, who died Tuesday from therapy-related leukemia. The former "first lady" of Three Rivers for 12 years was 58.
The two married relatively late in life; he was 37, she was 42, and it was the first marriage for both.
Tom Lowry said there were many things he admired about her. Among them were her involvement in supporting the city's downtown district and its building restoration projects, her devotion to the Three Rivers Area Mentoring program, her mathematical genius and her love for traveling. Lowry said his wife was thoughtful, intelligent and kind.
“She was a quiet person and even though we didn't have children of our own, Susan was always concerned about the welfare of children in general,” he said.
The two met when Lowry opened his bookstore in downtown Three Rivers in 1993. She was a frequent patron and a tenant in an apartment above the store.
The two accumulated many stamps in their passports. Through the years they visited several countries in Europe. Susan Lowry was fond of the Pacific Northwest and her favorite Midwest destination was the Upper Peninsula.
“About three years ago, we followed the entire eastern edge of Michigan from Detroit to Mackinaw City and one day along Lake Huron we found more Petoskey stones than we'd ever found anywhere else," he said.
In April 2009, Susan Lowry was diagnosed with leukemia, labeled as therapy-related by doctors because it was determined to be the result of cancer treatment she had received in the mid 1980s.
By October, Lowry said the couple was told her condition was terminal. Tom Lowry, whose 12-year tenure as mayor ended in 2007, decided not to challenge incumbent Mayor Allen Balog, who had defeated him in 2007, for the seat.
Lowry said his wife made a list of every member of her extended family who she wanted to say goodbye to and managed to see every person on that list a final time.
"She died peacefully among the people who loved her … the flowers and cards have started arriving and it's been really nice to know Susan was a part of so many lives in so many ways," Lowry said.
Susan Jean (Hotovy) Lowry
Susan Jean (Hotovy) Lowry, 58, passed away peacefully at her home with family at her side on February 23, 2010, after a long battle with cancer. Susan was born on March 5, 1951 at Three Rivers Hospital. She was the daughter of Mary Elizabeth (Bell), Donnabell (Giacobone), and Carl Hotovy of Three Rivers.
She graduated from Three Rivers High School in 1969. After graduating from the University of Michigan in 1972 she lived in Denver, CO, for three years and then returned to Three Rivers.
Susan worked at the former Three Rivers Savings and Loan for more than thirty-three years. On December 11, 1993 she married the love of her life, Thomas Lowry, Jr. Together they were very involved with the community. Tom was the Mayor of Three Rivers for twelve years and Susan was the First Lady. She loved to travel, collect antiques and copper ware. She believed strongly in Historic Preservation and saving downtown Three Rivers. Baseball was her passion - she always loved those Tigers! She enjoyed football, too; when she wasn't rooting for the Maize and Blue you would see her cheering for the hometown Wildcats! Throughout her life, Susan enjoyed her family and many friends. She was a very caring and giving person. She enjoyed family times at holidays, sporting events, concerts, and the movies.
We will always remember her death as a celebration of her life; she will always be loved, remembered, and missed. She was preceded in death by her mother, Mary Hotovy, her brother, Lee Hotovy, her sister, Reka Hotovy, her mother, Donnabell Hotovy, and her father, Carl Hotovy. Surviving Susan is her husband, Thomas, and his parents, Yvonne and Thomas Lowry, Sr.; brother, John Hotovy and wife, Lauren Hotovy with sons, Justin and Aaron; sister, Cynthia Giacobone and husband, Bruce Monroe with sons, Brendan (Danielle and son, Cian), Colin, and Evan; sister, Alison Giacobone (Tim Weber) with her sons, Tyler, Alec, and Chase Berry. Also surviving are nieces, Gabrielle and Caitlin Yore, Erin Lowry, Alexandra Lowry, Sophia Grace Lowry, Jessica Newcomb, and nephew, Jacob Lowry.
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