Born April 20, 1921 in Akron, Ohio, Mary Helen Lowans died peacefully at home June 3, 2002. She is survived by Warren, her loving husband of 57 years, by her two sons, Thurman and Mark and by her granddaughter, Sandra Lee. At the age of 17, Mary Helen captured the National Junior Championship in the 220-yard breast stroke. She went on to become a national swimming champion with countless records and titles. Had not World War II cancelled the Olympic Games in 1940, Mary Helen would certainly have been swimming for the gold and wearing, red, white and blue.
A 1943 graduate of West Chester State Teachers College in Pennsylvania, Mary Helen had a bright future in teaching, with positions in Coatsville, Pa., Schenectady and Port Washington, N.Y. A Navy wife of 32 years, Mary Helen supported her husband’s career as a naval aviator with cross-country moves, too numerous to recount. With Warren deployed at sea for sometimes up to 15 months, Mary Helen kept the Lowans household on a steady course, raising two sons with the help of three boxer dogs.
Quiet, but firm, Mary Helen was always CNO in the Lowans family.
A master contract bridge player, Mary Helen had a keen mind for the game and was a very active and dedicated player. She loved the out of doors, including camping, skiing, sailing, golf and travel. However, if there was a lake, pool or stretch of open ocean nearby, Mary Helen was off for a long swim. The retirement years were indeed golden for Mary Helen and Warren as they shared life together. Despite the increasing burdens of age and health, Mary Helen and Warren were out and about on Whidbey every day. Never a quitter, Mary Helen embraced life with both zeal and grace. She will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.
Private graveside services were held at Sunnyside Cemetery, Coupeville. Memorial contributions should be made to the Home Health Care and Hospice of Whidbey General Hospital in Coupeville, Washington.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Burley Funeral Chapel, Oak Harbor.