January 28,1932 – October 20, 2012
Vernon Everett Lowey
Vernon Everett Lowey, the only son of Norman Lowey and Vance Billeter was born in Wadena, Sk. on January 28,1932. He was raised on the family farm north of Nut Mountain and later at the Lowey farm one mile east of Kelvington. Other than one year in Limerick, Sk. and one year in Victoria B.C., Vernon took his schooling in Nut Mountain and Kelvington, graduating in 1951. Due to a harvest accident in 1950, he remained in Kelvington rather than continue his post grad education.
Vernon married Carol Derbyshire on October 3, 1958. They were blessed with four sons, each of whom they were very proud.
He set up machinery and delivered tractors by driving them from Yorkton to Heaths’ in Kelvington, drove a gravel truck for Les Weaver, a fuel tanker for Peter Jacobsen as well as driving for Forslund Bus Lines and STC. Employment in 1953 at Kelvington Co-operative Association resulted in fourteen years of dedicated service, first delivering fuel and later as service Station Manager. In 1967 he transferred to Bjorkdale Co-operative as General Manager.
In 1969, the family lost their yearning for greener pastures, and returned to Kelvington to purchase Gronsdal Motors. This automotive and service garage was known as Lowey Sales & Service until 1976 when it was changed to Lowey Enterprises Ltd. A Sears Catalogue Sales office was built on in 1970. Vernon expanded the auto parts department in 1979 by taking on the Bumper to Bumper franchise, making it Kelvington’s first wholesale-retail outlet.
Vernon was employed by Shamrock Ambulance Care Ltd. of Wadena on Nov.1,1978. As a result, a Class A ambulance service was based in Kelvington for the first time. Vernon and Carol purchased the Kelvington unit in 1983 and named the company Kelvington Ambulance Care Ltd. It was purchased by son, Trevor and continues operating to this day. In 2001, Vernon was presented with The Governor General of Canada’s Emergency Medical Services Exemplary Service Medal recognizing his distinguished career in providing outstanding, long term dedicated service to the Saskatchewan EMS community.
During retirement, 3 months of every year for eight years was spent living in their fifth wheel at the Rex Mundi Camp at Marean Lake. Vernon spent many hours maintaining the grounds and doing repairs on the buildings. The Rex Mundi board of directors honoured Vernon and Carol by naming their new building at the camp “Lowey Place’,
Vernon was always at his best when he was doing for others. It could have been delivering heating fuel in the middle of a winter night to a family who’s tank had run dry, answering a tow truck call to pull a vehicle from a ditch or a slough, a tractor from a lake or a dugout or even an airplane stuck on the runway at Kelvington Airport, or immediately dropping whatever he was doing to answer an ambulance call.
Since before their marriage until they retired from their ambulance careers, Vernon and Carol have worked side by side.
Vernon enjoyed travelling, including family trips to Ontario, B.C., California, Yellowstone, Oregon, Alaska and Hawaii, several Caribean and Mexican cruises and many camping trips. The highlight of his travelling was a 50th Wedding Anniversary gift from his family of a trip for himself and Carol to their roots in the United Kingdom in 2008.
He also enjoyed woodworking, reciting poetry and music. Many will remember him playing the drums for the band in the early 50’s. Vernon and Carol decided while they were still going together that the song “Side By Side” would be their theme song. Little did they know how appropriate it would be.
Vernon took great pride, not only in the many achievements of his sons but mostly in the fine young men they turned out to be. All three have inherited their Father’s best characteristics and will carry on his tradition of loving and caring, not only for family, but also for friends and community. His Grandchildren were especially dear to him. Gregory is following in Grandpa’s and Dad’s footsteps as an ambulance attendant in training with plans to become a primary care paramedic and work his way through medical college to become a surgeon like his grandfather had wanted to. He was also pleased on Saturday night to hear of the success of Greg’s football team the Foam Lake Panther’s. He was always interested in Braedon’s latest ventures and was pleased that he enjoyed acting, as did he in high school. Jameson and Ambriel’s arrival was a true blessing and Grandpa enjoyed having them come to the lodge to visit. Vernon also had a special attachment to Logan, as it was he who first taught us to be Grandparents.
Since February of 2009, Vernon’s health continued to deteriorate to the point where he had to be admitted to hospital and then the nursing home where he passed away peacefully during the night of Oct. 21 with Carol by his side.
Vernon was predeceased by his father and mother, sisters Velma and Marlene and his three brothers-in law and son Gregory in infancy.
Vernon leaves to mourn his wife Carol, sons Kevin of Saskatoon, Daryl (Barb) of Olds, Alberta and Trevor, (Tammy) and grandchildren Gregory, Jameson and Ambriel of Kelvington and Braedon of Regina and step grandchild Logan Preston, sister Muriel Hersey living in Mission B.C.
Vernon will be sadly missed by family and community, but his legacy will live on.