Sarah Belle Steelman Lowe, 82, of Lenoir, joined her Savior and her husband in heaven Saturday, Aug. 17.
Sarah was born in Rock Hill, S.C., May 22, 1931, the third daughter of Charlie and Mary Laws Steelman. Sarah grew up in a close, loving family that included her half-brother, Jean, and sisters Ruth, Mary, Pat and Martha. She lived most of her childhood in Oakwoods, Wilkes County, N.C., and graduated from Wilkesboro High School in 1950.
In July of that year she married Cody Lee Lowe Jr. of Moravian Falls, N.C., her high-school sweetheart. To say they were devoted to each other was understatement. They soon moved to Lenoir and were hardly separable for 21 years as they raised two sons, Cody Lee III and Michael Charles, before Cody Jr. died at age 41 in 1972.
Defying a 1950s stereotype, Sarah ingrained in her boys the idea of the equality of the sexes long before the word “feminist” became popular. When the boys were small she was a homemaker, serving as an officer in Homemaker Extension Clubs.
As the boys got older, she worked as a secretary at Fairfield Chair Co. and took classes at Caldwell Community College. Her world began to change in early 1971, when her husband was diagnosed with melanoma. Although consumed with grief at his loss a year later, she clung to her Christian faith and determined to complete her education.
She received an associate’s degree from the community college, went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Appalachian State University, and a doctor of education degree from N.C. State University. Over the next two decades she worked in a variety of fields, teaching at business colleges, working in juvenile corrections, supervising a retirement community office, and serving as an administrator at Caldwell Shelter Home.
Sarah remained a faithful servant leader in the churches she attended, earning a state chaplaincy certification and leading an Elijah House ministry to those with physical and emotional pain.
She was a devoted grandmother to five grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. She was also a beloved aunt of 19 nieces and nephews, a mentor to dozens of her children’s friends, and loving sister-in-law.
There will be a celebration of Sarah’s life Tuesday, Aug. 20, at 11 a.m. at Whitnel Pentecostal Holiness Church, 1890 Connelly Springs Road, Cajahs Mountain. The service will be preceded at 10 a.m by a viewing and reception at the church. A private interment will be held later. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Sarah’s name to Caldwell County Hospice, 902 Kirkwood St. NW, Lenoir, N.C. 28645.
Online condolences may be sent to the Lowe Family at www.evansfuneralservice.com
Evans Funeral Service and Crematory is serving the Lowe Family.