Two years ago, my Dad, John Wesley Lowe, was ushered by angelic escorts to his heavenly home. Even though a void remains that cannot be filled, we continue to celebrate his life until we meet again. Dad was my inspiration for this Out Island Boy blog. His boyhood stories of life on Green Turtle Cay always fascinated me. He married and started a family in Nassau. There he built a successful career over four decades. At home, church, and work, his life was characterized by a giving spirit. He impacted more people than he realized.
As I reflect on his life today, I share a few excerpts from the program printed for his memorial service in Jupiter, Florida. There is also a video clip created by his grandson Jason Lowe.
John Wesley was born on the small island of Green Turtle Cay of the Abaco chain in the northern part of the Bahamas on June 7, 1925 to the late Howard Lowe and the late Bessie Caroline Curry. His name was chosen from each of his grandfathers’ names: John and Wesley.
John’s paternal grandfather, John Aquila Lowe (Grandpa Johnny) served as pastor of the Church of God in Green Turtle Cay. John’s father, Howard, was the church clerk. The church was situated on property adjacent to their home. John’s mother took pride in making sure that kerosene lamps were filled with oil and that the church was clean and ready for the services. John was given the task of ringing the church bell to let the entire island know that the church service was about to start.
John’s mother became a widow at an early age, when John was only 2 ½ years old. His maternal grandfather, Wesley (Pa Wes) Curry, moved in their home and was a major influence in John’s life. Pa Wes was a fisherman, but after a long, frustrating day of no fish, he threw all of his fishing equipment overboard and purposed to farm the Abaco land. John loved to visit his farms and see the bananas and smell the sweet pineapples. Perhaps this is where John developed his love for fruit.
When John was 15 years of age, Pa Wes became ill, and a decision was made to take him to Nassau for medical attention. John’s mother sold their little home for 120 pounds (less than $400) and boarded a boat to Nassau. John & his mother lived with his Aunt Emmie during this time, and at an early age John went to work to support his mother. John’s mother would later remarry another fine Green Turtle Cay gentleman, the late Ashbourne Lowe.
In Nassau on November 8, 1946, while riding his bicycle, John passed by a revival service at a small brethren church. John heard the preaching of Bill Patterson, jumped off his bicycle, and stuck his head in an open church window to listen. The gospel seed was planted, and later that evening after talking with his Grandma Millie, John accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. God had preserved John’s life through the disaster of the 1932 hurricane (Category 5) which decimated the small island. John also recalled God’s protecting hand when as a young boy, he and his cousin were almost crushed when a heavy loading dock wagon that they were joy riding slipped off the pier. Both John and his cousin landed safely into the compartments of a dinghy below as the large wagon landed on top of the bottom.
John soon became acquainted with his aunt’s neighbors, the late George Basil & the late Amy Lowe and their children, in particular, with their second daughter, Doreen. John would marry her on March 2, 1951 and have her as his faithful wife for 61 years. God blessed their marriage with 4 children, 15 grandchildren, and 12 great-grand children.