Eric Lowery

Died on May 12, 2020 

Birth: in Baltimore, MD to the late Madison Lowery and Irene Lowery.   
Death: May 12, 2020 in Easton, MD  

Education: 
Graduated from Baltimore City College (Black Knights, “Castle on the Hill”) in 1966, studied Computer Science at the Community College of Baltimore County and the US Army School of Data Processing, Indiana. 

Military Service: 
U.S. Army, Vietnam Veteran, Bronze Star – 1968-69 and Army Reserve 1980-1990. 

Work Life:   
1969-1988 – City of Baltimore, Department of Public Works, Land Surveyor 
1988-2002 – City of Baltimore, Department of Public Works and Department of Transportation, Computer Technician and Programmer Analyst 
2002-2020 – Chesapeake College – Technology Support Analyst; Computer Programming Instructor and Motorcycle Safety and Driving Instructor. 

Hobbies: 
All sports, but especially the Baltimore Ravens (season ticket holder), fishing, bowling, riding his motorcycle, and photography. 

Civic Service: 
• President of the Frederick Douglass Honor Society 
• Member of the NAACP Talbot County Branch 
• Lifetime member and 1st Vice President of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 648 
• Lifetime Member of the Blake-Blackston American Legion, Post 77 
• Lifetime Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 5118 
• Former Board member of Habitat For Humanity - Choptank 
• Former Board member of Historic Easton, Inc. 
• Former member of the Talbot County Historical Preservation Commission 
• Former member of the Democratic Central Committee 
• Former Talbot County Mentor 
• Member of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum 
• Member of the Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area
• Member of the Buffalo Soldiers Calvary Scouts

Loves of his life: 
His wife, Harriette, son, Bomani, daughter-in-law, Jacqueline
and his two grandsons, Brendon & Cameron.   

He is also survived by his mother, Irene, his two sisters Rhonda & Sharon and a special “Aunt” Laura Myrtle Richards along with a host of other relatives and friends. 

Eric moved to the Eastern Shore of Maryland (Easton) in 1998 and emerged himself into the culture and life of the shore. As a veteran of the Vietnam War who lived with PTSD, he and his wife were looking for a quiet, peaceful and slower pace of life.  He also wanted to embrace the community and try to make a difference.  In 2008 he began to speak with others who were willing to work toward completing the task of honoring Talbot County’s famous native son, Frederick Douglass, with a statue on the Talbot County Courthouse lawn.  In 2009, Eric stepped forward to become the President and spokesperson for the Frederick Douglass Honor Society. The Honor Society consisted of members of the Talbot County Branch of the NAACP, the American Legion Blake-Blackston Post #77, the Samuel T. Helmsley Elks Lodge #974 as well as a diverse group of community residents.  On June 18, 2011 in the presence of hundreds, including former Governor Martin O’Malley, Eric’s leadership led to the unveiling of a statue of Frederick Douglass on the grounds of the Talbot County Courthouse were slaves were once sold.  In 2014 this seemingly ordinary man did an extraordinary thing and ran for public office and sought a seat on the Talbot County Council. Eric saw the lack of diversity on the council and in different areas of the community and wanted to make a difference. With the support and encouragement of others, he ran on the platform of preserving our precious environment and supporting educational opportunities for the youth of our community. He lost the election, but he never lost the importance of making a difference.

Service of Remembrance to be held in Easton, Maryland at a later date to be determine.  

Donations can be made in honor of Eric to:

Frederick Douglass Honor Society Scholarship Fund –
c/o Mid-Shore Community Foundation,
102 E. Dover Street, Easton, MD 21601

or

St. Stephen’s A.M.E. Church (Historic Unionville)
9473 Unionville Road, Easton, MD 21601

or

Talbot Hospice,
586 Cynwood Dr.,
Easton, MD 21601

“The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous.”
                                          Frederick Douglass



 

 

 

Click here to see a gallery of Vernette Seward's photos from the Memorial Caravan on May 16th, 2020

 

Tributes to Eric Lowery

__________________________________________

 

In Loving Memory
of
Eric Lowery

Our Beautiful and Beloved
“whole-souled friend”


As I was working for the Frederick Douglass Honor Society, we got together with the idea that, in addition to trying to bring out the rich history of Talbot County, that we would also bring people together from different sectors of life, of races, religions, whatever, and get them to work together and see the need to improve our quality of life through the activities that we do together. In my opinion, it’s been very successful.

                                                                                      Eric Lowery

Eric Lowery’s soul-stirring and inspirational words are the words of a social justice campaigner, an equal rights activist, and a visionary leader. In his life and life’s work, he lived as the embodiment of the ideal reformer, the beautiful individual who was dedicated to securing all social and political liberties, and one whom Frederick Douglass always recognized and embraced as a “whole-souled friend.”

As it was for Frederick Douglass, so it was for Eric Lowery, there was never any room for “halfness.” Across past, present, and future generations, Lowery joined Douglass in counseling us all to “work together” from all the “different sectors of life” and with our “whole-souls” to see, to feel, and to understand the “need to improve our quality of life through the activities we do together.”

Eric Lowery lived by Frederick Douglass’s undying commitment to changing society by changing lives, changing hearts, and changing souls. Separated by centuries, Lowery and Douglass were joined together by indivisible spirit bonds in their united belief in the unending fight for social justice.

As Frederick Douglass and Eric Lowery were only too powerfully and painfully aware, a social justice that is not only real and genuine but that will survive against all onslaughts, is only ever possible by the soul-transforming power of a compassionate and courageous love: above all, a collective love that is shared by us all. As Douglass all his life proclaimed, “where love is there is happiness.”

And yet, to love all is to risk all. All their lives, Douglass and Lowery took every risk in their shared “whole-souled” belief that it is only by coming together across all the “different sectors of life” that anyone, let alone all of us, can find a way to transform our individual stories of suffering, of struggle, and of sacrifice into shared stories of survival.

I had the precious gift of meeting Eric Lowery just two years ago in 2018 when I came to Easton to share the life stories not only of Frederick Douglass but of Anna Murray, his wife and Rosetta and Annie, his daughters, as well as Lewis Henry, Frederick Jr., and Charles Remond Douglass, his sons. Their lives of sacrifice and suffering tell us that the “struggle in the cause of liberty” was the work not of Frederick Douglass alone but of every member of the Anna Murray and Frederick Douglass family. An intergenerational fight for a “new dawn of freedom” was the Douglass family business.

Just as “everyone” in the Douglass family “lent a hand” in their shared labors to end the pain of all “suffering humanity,” so Eric and Harriette Lowery and everyone in the Frederick Douglass Honor Society rely on their “united power” to “work together” to “improve our quality of life.”

Words fail me when I even begin to attempt to do justice to Eric Lowery’s “whole-souled” power. In the precious moments we spent together, I felt blessed to be in the presence of such an emotionally and spiritually beautiful human being. One of the treasured memories that everyone who knew Frederick Douglass carried in their hearts after his passing was his kindness. And just as Douglass was loved for his “great bigness of heart” as he felt for everyone in pain and never hesitated to share his healing love to soothe their wounds, so Eric Lowery lived a life of heart-transforming kindness and a soul-reaching empathy that has touched and transformed us all.

To all of Eric Lowery’s beloved family and friends, I share the words Frederick Douglass himself wrote to one of his closest friends whose loss of a loved one was too much to bear: “my heart is with you.”


                                                                                                                                                              Celeste-Marie Bernier
                                                                                                                                                              Professor of African American Studies, University of Nottingham, England


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I remember the day you told me that I was blessed to be able to call you Baba. In my mind, I had been calling you this for years. You and Mama Harriette had won my heart the first time I met you. I can still see her running in the Elks for the first day of our exercise class (nothing unusual there! Lol)

I remember the day we had our first meeting to organize the committee to “Honor Frederick Douglass!” I remember all the moments in between until the statue was unveiled June 2011. I remember all the random meetings we, the Frederick Douglass Honor Society, had to continue uplifting the community. I remember you always being there, always being present, always being the consummate leader, President and most importantly friend.

I remember thanking God that Quentin was by my side to witness a what a strong Black Man will do for his family and his community. I remember the day I had to tell you and Mama Harriette that I was leaving to start the next chapter of my life here in North Carolina. I remember you both coming to North Carolina to witness that beginning. The beautiful toast you gave Derek & I that night after we all retired back to our rooms.

I remember the day I was told you were sick and as the reports came back over this lengthy time span, I remember the dread setting into my being. I remember January 25, 2020. The day you surprised Mom by coming out to her 70th birthday get-together. I ran across the parking lot and hugged you so tightly. I fought back tears that day.

I could tell you were tired. The battle was getting to you but, you persevered! You showed the same spirit that I always admired. You NEVER stopped fighting. As you became weary, I knew you just wanted to make sure that Mama Harriette and Bo were going to be okay. Once you felt that in your spirit you knew it was time.

We didn’t talk often but, I knew you were there if I needed you. I knew I could call Mama Harriette and she would get your input. I know that as we get older we lose those we care about. I hope you know that YOU are that person for me but I will carry you in my heart.

I love you Baba. Rest in Paradise.


                                                                                                                                                               Paulette (aka Baby Girl) Brooks Addison


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Frederick Douglass wrote, “Poets, prophets and reformers are all picture-makers -- and this ability is the secret of their power and of their achievements. They see what ought to be by the reflection of what is, and endeavor to remove the contradiction.”  Eric Lowery was a beloved husband, father, friend, and community leader who helped us all see the big picture.  He challenged himself and each of us to build bridges across divides and make our community stronger and more just.  With a strong intellect, wonderful smile, big heart, and sometimes mischievous gleam in his eyes, Eric touched our lives.  His memory is a blessing.


                                                                                                                                                              Rick Scobey and Bruce Ragsdale

 

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I don’t know why, but when it comes to friends, I’ve always preferred women. Well, maybe that’s not true, maybe I do know why. Still, for most of my life and for whatever reason, in pretty much every place I’ve ever lived, the number of close male friends I’ve had could be numbered on one hand.

If you were to ask me to name the men here in Talbot County who would end up in that one-handed count, Eric Lowery would leap to mind. There were so many things to love about Eric, but as a man one of his greatest qualities was his acceptance. Eric always put you at your ease. Some men, when placed in a room with other men (and especially if there are women present), feel the need to one-up and out-maneuver every other man in the room, regardless of the agenda or the topic under discussion. Not Eric. Eric was comfortable in his bones. He didn’t feel he had to prove anything to anyone. And, as a result, he was a joy to be with. If you had a good idea, he would call it good without hesitation. I can’t tell you how important that is in life, what it meant to me when, from time to time, Eric approved of something I said.

And I loved to hear him laugh. Eric had a wonderful chuckling laugh that seemed to rise up straight out of his heart. Once again, it put everyone at ease. When Eric laughed, the world seemed a better place. And whatever the topic under discussion, however difficult or fraught, it seemed manageable because Eric Lowery was there and he had found something to laugh about.

God I will miss him. I loved that picture they used of him in The Talbot Spy this week. You take one look at that photograph, one look at the smile on his face, and you know this is a man who is approachable, this is a man it will be a joy to work with. Oh, I would give anything to have him back.

A few years ago I happened upon Eric’s lovely bride, Harriette, in the produce section at Giant. Standing together, chatting over the tomato bins, we somehow got on the topic of fishing, the fact that Eric liked to fish. I’m sure she had no idea what that news did for me. My father taught me to fish. I loved Dad very much, and, now that he is gone, fishing has become a way for me to, in a sense, be with him again. Doubtless this explains why, except when I go with Melissa, I always fish alone these days. I haven’t fished with another male since I was a kid.

But when I learned Eric liked to fish, I immediately had a vision of the two of us out together in a boat, plugging away for largemouth bass. I’m guessing this was because Eric reminded me of Dad, who was also a good and honorable man, a man who made everyone feel good about being around him. I think I had thought that, in a way, fishing with Eric would bring Dad back for me, renew the experience of fishing with him. Feeling, like Eric, no need to out-compete other males, I know Dad would approve of the idea, like to see me out in a boat fishing with Eric.

Of course I do still get to see Dad fishing. Every night, in my prayers, I watch him work his fly back and forth over some heavenly mountain stream. In the past, I’ve always asked God to send Dad a lot of hungry trout, but tonight it will be different. Tonight I’m going to ask Him to send Eric over his way too. From now on, Dad won’t have to fish alone.


                                                                                                                                                              Bill Peak

 

                                                                                                                 __________________________________________


Eric and Harriette Lowery came to Talbot County and never missed an opportunity to serve our community. Starting with the work of erecting the Frederick Douglass Statue and bringing Douglass' history back to life in Talbot County. I will miss Eric's smile and his laughter. He had the ability to calm the forces when they were raging. I remember him, with his quiet voice, bringing reason to any situation. Not only will the Frederick Douglass Honor Society miss him, but he will be missed by this community. I know that his tasks on earth were completed on the day God accepted him.


                                                                                                                                                              Vickie Wilson

 

                                                                                                                 __________________________________________


Eric Lowery was an inspirational visionary, who knew how to bring people together to work for a common cause. His dedication and commitment to seeing the Frederick Douglass Statue completed was amazing but even more amazing was his dedication to seeing that Mr. Douglass’ legacy remained a focus not just in Talbot County but throughout the State.

He and Harriette are a perfect example of what a true relationship should be like. They not only worked well together but they inspired others with their dedication and enthusiasm. It is so unusual to find couples that are as dedicated and committed as they were to not only each other, but the community as a whole. We are all better people for having Eric as a part of our circle.

He is Gone

You can shed tears that he is gone,
Or you can smile because he lived,
You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back,
Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left.

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him
Or you can be full of the love that you shared,
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember him and only that he is gone
Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on,
You can cry and close your mind be empty and turn your back,
Or you can do what he would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.


Rest in peace, Eric.
                                                                                                                                                              Childlene Brooks

 

                                                                                                                 __________________________________________


I remember meeting Eric and Harriette for the first time in 2008, soon after the Obama campaign began. A large group of Democrats had gathered at the request of the national campaign to suggest ideas for the party platform. We broke up into smaller groups, and Eric headed the one concerned with veterans’ affairs. His group, and the others, had several good ideas, and as moderator of the event, I sent them on to the State Obama campaign, which was very pleased with them.

About a year later, as a member of the Democratic Central Committee, Eric voted in favor of making me a member. He told me after the first meeting that he had been impressed with how I had made certain that everyone was heard in the platform meeting. I will always remember what he said, because it was a clear statement of what Eric himself valued—that everyone be heard.

We all remember Eric as president of the Frederick Douglass Honor Society and the tremendous contributions the Society has made to the Eastern Shore of Maryland and beyond. The many events on the days surrounding the unveiling of the Douglass statue were educational and joyous, as well as the many years of Juneteenth celebrations. It was always fun to hear Eric and his fellow Buffalo Soldiers roar into town on their motorcycles.

The last time I saw Eric was at the physical therapist’s office, where each of us had been sent in hopes of mending some of the frailties of age. After Eric and I had greeted each other, my physical therapist said, “I see you know Mr. Lowery. Everyone here loves him.” I thought to myself, “So do I.”

Thank you, Harriette, and everyone else in Eric’s family and the Douglass Honor Society who planned the caravan last Saturday in honor of Eric’s life. It was a beautiful and fitting tribute to this fine man, and his friends are grateful to you for the chance to honor him, particularly in this difficult time.


                                                                                                                                                              Blair Potter

 

                                                                                                                 __________________________________________


In a long life, I have met few people that I have liked and admired without reservation. Eric Lowery is among them. I first met Eric when Blair and I and countless others, including Eric and, of course, Harriette, were working on the first Obama campaign. He was a strong man, but with a gentle touch. He was a serious man, with a wonderful sense of humor. His leadership of the Frederick Douglass Honor Society is an enduring contribution.. For his service to America in the Vietnam War, about which he never talked, he has our respect and gratitude. He would have enjoyed the boisterous sendoff at the courthouse.


                                                                                                                                                              Robert A. Potter

 

                                                                                                                 __________________________________________


The loss of Eric has been heartbreaking on so many levels, yet I feel so fortunate that I got to know him. I will miss his big heart, his infectious smile, his warm welcoming hugs, and that wonderful laugh of his. Eric was more than a pillar in our community, he was its conscience. Knowing him has made my life richer in every way.

May Eric continue to ride his beloved motorcycle wherever he is, free at last from pain and travail. And those of us left behind lift a toast to a life well-lived. I celebrate his amazing and selfless life!


                                                                                                                                                              Catherine Poe

 

                                                                                                                 __________________________________________


Everyone at the Talbot County Free Library—staff, board, patrons, everyone—we all want to express our gratitude for the life of Eric Lowery. The library provided a forum when he and the Frederick Douglass Honor Society he helped found were struggling to get a statue of Talbot County’s most famous native son erected on the courthouse lawn, and we celebrated with him when that dream became a reality. As partners with the Frederick Douglass Honor Society in staging our community’s annual Frederick Douglass day, we worked closely with Eric for years, and working with Eric, inevitably, we came to love him. He was just a good, selfless, caring man, one whose only aim—always—was to help the people around him and assure the wellbeing of our Talbot County community. We shall miss him terribly. Our hearts go out to his wife, Harriette, the Frederick Douglass Honor Society, and all the people who helped him accomplish so much. We were blessed to have him among us.


                                                                                                                                                              Talbot County Free Library

 

                                                                                                                 __________________________________________


Eric-I remember your wonderful smile and welcome four years ago when I first came to the library. You made me feel at ease and I as I write this, I remember how you quietly included people and made them feel that they were a part of something larger. You took family, friends, and community to the heart of your existence and shared much of yourself with those around you. I will really miss seeing you about town, in the library and especially during Frederick Douglass Day but that is tempered with fondness when I remember how you donated from the heart with such a kindness and generosity of spirit. Your legacy lives on in the lives that you touched and in all of those that you helped. For those of us that remember your easy friendship and ready smile, we miss you but know that you are with us when we do the same for those around us.


                                                                                                                                                              Dana Newman

 

                                                                                                                 __________________________________________


"Power concedes nothing without a demand."

As with Douglass, Eric Lowery inspires us to expand human dignity in the world. His “demand”, his model for activism and his pursuit of social justice were all rendered through kindness, generosity and humor.

He listens to you.
He honors you.
His courage and leadership amplify all of our voices.

Eric’s work moves forward while we continue to enjoy his loving presence!


                                                                                                                                                              Patrick Rogan

 

                                                                                                                 __________________________________________


"The thought of only being a creature of the present and the past was troubling. I longed for a future too, with hope in it. The desire to be free, awakened my determination to act, to think, and to SPEAK."

                                                                         Frederick Douglass

Eric Lowery was a friend and a mentor who showed us that challenging, speaking up, and pursuing a goal can and should be done with compassion.  I am better for having him in some part of my life and he will be truly missed but never forgotten.


                                                                                                                                                              Kirk Howie

                                                                                                                 __________________________________________

Eric Lowery was defiantly one of the nicest men I ever had the honor of knowing. His accomplishments not only benefited the town Easton , his work benefited everyone that ever came in contact with him. He was a true gentleman in every scene of the word. The first time Harriett introduced me to him I was so impressed with his warm and gentle nature but as I got to know him I saw the tiger inside of him released when faced with a project that would defeat most people. He was amazing , with Harriett always working right with him, there was no limit on what they would accomplish together. A true power team of two. Eric will be loved and missed by all but Harriett please remember we are all here for you during this horrible time of readjustment .   In loving memory of Eric and ready to help you Harriett in any way that I can dear friend.


                                                                                                                                                              Joyce Scharch

 

                                                                                                                 __________________________________________

Dear Eric,

Thank you so much for your patient leadership, your quiet kindness, and your delightful rumbly voice that encouraged us along the path graced by Frederick Douglass’ footsteps.  

Serving as a volunteer for the Frederick Douglass Honor Society is one of the greatest blessings of my life. Thank you for including me.

With respect, honor, love, and determination,


                                                                                                                                                              Elizabeth North

 

                                                                                                                 __________________________________________


My heart is going to break!!! We have lost another monumental community leader. Love and healing to Harriet and the family.


                                                                                                                                                              Carolyn Jaffe

 

                                                                                                                 __________________________________________


Eric’s spirit which enriched our community lives! Blessings to Harriet and all of Eric’s loved ones


                                                                                                                                                              Al Sikes

 

                                                                                                                 __________________________________________


Our community has lost a true hero. My heart is heavy, but am eternally grateful to have known Eric and call him friend. God speed Eric and love and hugs to my dear Harriett.
                                                                                                                                                              Maureen Curry

 

                                                                                                                 __________________________________________


Eric was so kind and a bright spirit. I’m glad I got to work with him for a short time. Love and healing to Harriette and family.


                                                                                                                                                              Brittany Dillard

 

                                                                                                                 __________________________________________


Oh how this news saddens me. Eric was a kind, caring person. I worked with him at Chesapeake College, and he always did a wonderful job solving my tech problems. Both he and his wife Harriet were vitals members of the Chesapeake family, supporting students, faculty and staff. They made such a positive impact at the college and in our community. My deepest condolences to Harriet, family, and friends.


                                                                                                                                                              Cathy Sewell
                                                                                                                                                              Professor Emeritus, Chesapeake College

 

                                                                                                                 __________________________________________


Eric Lowery what a pleasure to have known him. He was a quiet man with a demeanor that matched him perfectly. In all the time that I have known him, I never saw him deviate from that personality trait. We worked together for a number of years with The Frederick Douglass Honor Society as I served in the capacity of Vice President for the organization. Eric structured the group in such a way that respect was given to him simply because you just wanted to extend him the courtesy. My sincere condolences to his wife Harriette and family at this time of their bereavement. Know that he will be missed by me and countless others who considered it a pleasure to have known him as a friend and as a confidant. Rest in peace Eric, you’ve completed your assignment, now take your rest. You will never be forgotten!


                                                                                                                                                              Rose Potter

 

                                                                                                                 __________________________________________


Eric Lowery was one of the kindest, most thoughtful and generous men I have ever had the honor of knowing. His passion for sharing the legacy of Frederick Douglass has touched everyone who knew him and, through his work with the Frederick Douglass Honor Society, will ensure that future generations will be the beneficiaries.


                                                                                                                                                              Timothy Young

 

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