BELLAIRE — Jack Maxon Lowe, 84, of Bellaire, passed away peacefully Wednesday morning, March 20, 2013, at Tendercare of Traverse City. Jack was born on Aug. 3, 1928, in Charlotte, to Clifford and Emily Lowe.
A 10th grade high school graduate, Jack worked as a baker in Petoskey then enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in Korea.
Jack married his loving wife, Shirley, on Aug. 6, 1949, and started his family in Grand Rapids, working for Haney’s Furniture. In October of 1960 Jack moved his wife and three kids to Bellaire after purchasing Dream Acre Motel (currently All Seasons Motel). In the early years to help support his young family, Jack was a truck driver along with driving school bus for Bellaire Schools. In the mid 1960s, Jack opened up Jack’s Drive-In, a food diner and ice-cream stand with curb side service (now Subway). Behind the Drive-In Jack built on a pool hall which included pin ball machines and a jukebox. Jack loved to tell the story about when he called Ma Bell to ask for a pay phone installation at the Drive-In only to be told that Bellaire already had a pay phone.
Over the course of his 50-plus years in Bellaire, along with raising five kids, Jack built 14 residential homes in the area. One of Jack’s hobbies was building motor homes. His first purchase was an old two-ton Dodge lumber truck. On the back he mounted a homemade sign that read “Hodge Podge Dodge Lodge” which promoted many passing toots and waves.
In 1970 Jack sold the motel and opened the Bellaire Coin Laundry, Dry Cleaning service and Car Wash. Alongside of his wife, Shirley, he operated the laundromat until he retired.
Jack’s love for his wood shop kept him busy building Adirondack chairs which he peddled to area greenhouse nurseries, including ones near Petoskey, Charlevoix, Mancelona and Kalkaska, as well as selling them off his front yard on M-88 just north of downtown. One can still see some of Jack’s handiwork near and around town, including the Bellaire museum sign.
Jack will be remembered for his love of music, fun, family and faith, and he will be missed dearly.
Along with his parents and sister, Pat, Jack was preceded in death by his son, Justin (Cathy, Nick and Nate).
He is survived by his brother, Clifford; sister, Rachel; wife, Shirley; sons, Timothy (Regina) and Joel (Donna); daughters, Ruth Ann and Rebecca; along with 11 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
A visitation and memorial service will be held Wednesday, March 27, at the Bellaire Community United Methodist Church. Visitation will start at 4 p.m., and the service will be held at 5:30 p.m. with a light dinner afterwards.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be given to the Salvation Army or to the Father Fred Foundation in recognition of the staff at Tendercare of Traverse City, especially for the caring workers in the Living Moments wing whose devotion we deeply appreciate.