William Louis Lowry, II, died Dec. 30, 2023, at his home in Pottstown, Penn. He was 85.

Born Nov. 12, 1938 in Brooklyn, New York, Bill was the son of William Louis Lowry and Kitty Gregory Hunter Lowry. Survivors are his wife of 25 years Susan Hatch Lowry, sister Robin Lowry, and his three daughters, Elizabeth Lowry, Lynne Hamilton and Jana Haynes, from his first marriage to Karen Kaye Stinson Lowry who preceded him in death.

A leading expert in energy generation, Bill was a mechanical engineer who reveled in his 50-year career designing, assessing, and evaluating power generating plants across the nation. His areas of expertise included coal, oil, wood, municipal waste, steam and gas turbines, gas pipeline interface and cogeneration systems. Bill was nationally renowned for his knowledge of the boiler code that establishes national design and construction standards for boilers and other pressure vessels. He also was the lead inventor on a U.S. patent for a waste-to-energy power plant.

Billy, his childhood name, was born in Brooklyn when his father was working as a mechanical engineer for American Standard in New York City. Once his father was called to serve in World War II, his mother Kitty, a librarian, returned to their home state of Kentucky. Eventually, Kitty and Billy moved to Chicago where Bill Sr. joined them after his discharge. The Lowrys settled in Oak Park, Ill., where Bill and his younger sister Robin grew up.

As his father had done before him, Bill joined the Pi Tau Sigma chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha at the University of Illinois, earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, and entered the U.S. Army in 1961. As a second lieutenant stationed in Detroit, Mich., Bill trained senior non-commissioned officers and civilian employees on fuel injection equipment and engine maintenance, adjustment, and modification. Once he was discharged, Bill worked as a sales engineer for Ingersoll-Rand Co., in Detroit.

While in Detroit, Bill met Karen Stinson through friends at church. They married in 1963 and moved to Oak Park two years later for Bill’s new job as a mechanical project engineer for Sargent & Lundy in Chicago. Following a brief stint managing a power plant in Hastings, Neb., he returned to Chicago to work for Fluor Power Services until the mid 1970s.

As Bill’s interest in energy generation grew, so did the job opportunities. In 1975, Bill and Karen moved their family to Oklahoma City where Bill joined The Benham Group and rose from mechanical engineer to vice president of fossil-fueled projects which included the Grand River Dam Authority in Vinita, Okla. He earned his master of business administration degree in 1982 from Oklahoma City University.

Bill embraced the community and culture of Oklahoma, trading his city shoes for cowboy boots and dress ties for bolos and scarves, which became his signature look for the rest of his life. Bill and Karen raised their three daughters in Surrey Hills, a tight-knit suburban housing development just inside the Oklahoma City limits. For years, Bill and other dads in the neighborhood spent every summer Sunday night playing water volleyball at the community pool. He and Karen were active in St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.

In 1982, Bill joined C.H. Guernsey and Company in Oklahoma City where he continued to advance the field of energy generation over 32 years. Bill was the lead inventor for U.S. patent No. 4,882,903 (issued in 1989), a combined cycle waste-to-energy plant that would thermally convert municipal and industrial solid wastes into combustion products that would, in turn, produce steam which would then produce electrical power. His notable projects included Golden Spread Electric Cooperative in Denver City, Texas, and Holy Cross Energy in Glenwood Springs, Colo.

He also was active throughout his career in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), serving as a member of the codes and standards committee since 1972.

Most people are fortunate to find one great love in their life. Bill found two. After Karen died from breast cancer, Bill, at age 59, reconnected with Susan Hatch, a classmate from Oak Park-River Forest High School.

When they married, Sue moved to Oklahoma City. Eventually, Bill and Sue moved back to the East Coast, settling in Pottstown, Penn. Bill was active in New Hanover Evangelical Lutheran Church, lending his expertise and time to church governance and stewardship.

With a shared love of travel, Bill and Sue vacationed with groups to Ireland, Italy and more. They frequently visited their children and grandchildren across the country, from Maryland to Louisiana to Oklahoma to Washington state. Always curious, Bill was intrigued by history and frequently visited the Smithsonian, Williamsburg, Valley Forge, and the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia.

Bill loved dining on Ritz crackers with peanut butter, cheese and summer sausage, washed down with a dark beer. Pizza and Braum’s ice cream were staples. A lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, Bill also followed the Phillies and the Eagles. He was a steadfast fan of the University of Oklahoma Sooners, where all three of his daughters earned their bachelor’s degrees.

Bill frequently dispensed advice to his children, grandchildren and many others. “Your name is the only thing you truly own,” he liked to say, “so make sure people spell it right.”

Bill is survived by his wife Susan Hatch Lowry, Pottstown; three daughters and their spouses, Elizabeth Lowry and Chris Narramore, Seattle; Lynne Hamilton and Evan Fenton, Oklahoma City; and Jana and Rick Haynes, Oklahoma City; and his sister Robin Lowry and her spouse Robert McHugh, Boulder, Colo. He also is survived by Susan’s children and their spouses, Mark and Deb Marotta, Jeffersonville, Penn.; Catherine and Frank Aucella, Severn, Md.; Stephanie Marotta and Doug Kane, Vashon Island, Wash.; Van and Candace Shepherd, Pottstown, Penn.; and Kirsten and Beau McSpadden, Greensboro, N.C.

A proud grandfather, Bill leaves behind 18 grandchildren: Courtney and Jared Hamilton; Hannah and Hunter Narramore; Madison, Cade and Abigail Pinski; Grace and Claire Aucella; Liliana Kane and Cecilia Kane; Cameron and Mackenzie Shepherd; Isaiah and Matthew Stephenson; Molly, Piper and Finn McSpadden.

A memorial service will be held Saturday January 6, 2024 at 11:00 AM at New Hanover Lutheran Church, 2941 Lutheran Rd., Gilbertsville, PA 19525. Burial will be private. Visitation will be held Saturday from 9:00-10:45 AM at the church.

In lieu of flowers, contributions to New Hanover Evangelical Lutheran Church at https://newhanoverlutheran.org/donate/ 

Add My Condolences

Dear Lynn: we were so saddened to learn of your Father’s passing. You and your family are all in our thoughts and prayers.

~ Ron & Wanda Duplain Canton, Oh
1/4/2024 12:09:30 PM

We send our love and condolences. He will be missed by many.

~ Dan Jr. and Sofia Hatch
1/3/2024 7:42:03 PM

Sending our deepest condolences to all. Uncle Bill will truly be missed by all. We have had So many fond memories throughout the years. Always a pleasure to be around, loved his humor, and style. He was one of a kind. we will cherish the memories . Sending prayers for all.
Annette, Gregg , and family

~ Annette Hockstein Itasca, IL
1/3/2024 6:27:40 PM

We send our sincerest condolences. Uncle Bill will be greatly missed. We have such fond memories of him during his visits. He was such a wonderful and fun man. Sending all our love.

~ Robert and Erin Hatch
1/3/2024 5:29:08 PM