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home : news : news Wednesday, August 20, 2014

11/17/2012 Email this articlePrint this article 
Ida Lowe of DeWitt celebrated her 100th birthday Thursday, Nov. 15. Lowe lived with her husband, Raymond, in DeWitt where he ran DeWitt Auto Body Shop on 11th Street. The couple raised their children, Roger of Colorado and Joyce Knight of DeWitt, in the apartment above the shop. Contributed photo
Lowe celebrates major milestone - 100 years of living

By Kate Howes
Staff writer

Nov. 15 is a significant day in the life of Ida Lowe and her family.

Her twin granddaughters were born on that day and one of them even got married on that very same date.

It also happens to be Lowe's birthday and this year she celebrated it for the 100th time.

Thursday, family shuffled in and out of Lowe's DeWitt home that she shares with her daughter and caregiver, Joyce Knight, bearing cards and best wishes.

Longevity is nothing new in Lowe's family. After all, both her sisters lived to be over 100 years old.

Yet, living for an entire century was never on Lowe's wish list.

"I never thought I would live this long," Lowe relates. "My dad grew all the food we ate, so we always had fresh food."

"That probably gave you a good base for your health," Knight adds.

"That's what I thought," Lowe agrees.

Born and raised in Milan, Ill., Lowe was the youngest of six children. After marrying her husband, Raymond, the couple moved to DeWitt where Raymond ran DeWitt Auto Body Shop on 11th Street.

They raised their family - Knight and her brother, Roger, who now lives in southern Colorado - in the apartment above the shop.

"(Lowe) was dad's secretary," Knight says, "and his 'gopher,' you could say. She would go and pick up parts for him or anything else he needed."

The couple was active in their church (United Methodist Church) and enjoyed playing golf.

Raymond died at age 98 in 2008. Now, with seven grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren, Lowe remains in fairly good health for a woman her age.

Though she has congestive heart failure and her ability to see and hear have been hampered by her age, Lowe's mind still is sharp.

She cast her ballot in the presidential election and loves to play the lottery.

Lowe says for someone who has lived a long time and seen a lot of things, she doesn't have much in the way of advice to offer to anyone.

In fact, she doesn't take advice any better than she gives it, Lowe admits.

"A friend once told me never get old and never have a relative take care of me," she says. "I did both."

"She didn't listen very well," Knight quips.

Knight says Lowe comes from a generation of a hardier stock - one that survived the Great Depression and learned to live on very little.

"They had a whole different mindset back then," Knight notes. "They didn't throw anything away and they worked hard. We still wash plastic Baggies in this house. It was a very different time and I think it made those people even stronger as a result."

As for what she hoped to get out of life, Lowe says her dream was simple - to have a home, a husband and children.

None of the major advancements she has witnessed in her life have changed what always has meant most to her . . . family.

"My son once told me, 'Mom, things always keep moving forward,'" Lowe shares. "I just go along with it."

"That's probably a good philosophy to live by," Knight says with a smile.


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