Robert “Bob” Jackson Lowder, 94, died peacefully at home in the company of family members, after a long illness with prostate cancer and Parkinson’s disease.
Bob was born to Mabel Jackson and Milo Lowder in Ogden, UT. He graduated from Ogden High School, where he was student body president. He enlisted and served in the Navy for two years.
Bob was a talented violinist as a boy, giving concerts in Ogden. After completing his military service, he received a music scholarship to attend USC; but as a passenger in a serious automobile accident, his injuries forced him take a leave of absence. When he recovered, he transferred to and graduated from the University of Utah. Bob and Helen Barkdull were married in February 1953 in Ogden and were together for 50 years until Helen died in 2003.
They had two daughters, Alyson and Karin, while living in Utah, and a third daughter, Christine, was born after their 1961 move to Boise. Bob was a successful life insurance agent in Boise and drove throughout the state to visit clients and serve their needs. He continued to work in the life insurance business well into his 70s.
Bob and Helen loved the Boise community and made many close friends. Bob was a violinist with the Boise Philharmonic. They were active in community affairs, and Bob was a passionate supporter of the Boise State Broncos. Bob and Helen’s early contribution to support the construction of the Boise State Pavilion provided them with lifetime seats to sporting events and concerts. When not at football games, Bob and Helen could be found golfing and playing tennis at Hillcrest Country Club. After Bob discovered his mid-life joy of skiing, they spent many happy weekends in Sun Valley, skiing the groomed slopes of Bald Mountain by day and dancing in the Duchin Room at the Sun Valley Lodge at night. Bob was also an excellent fly-fisherman and loved catching trout in Idaho’s many rivers and streams.
Bob shared his love of music, skiing and tennis with his three daughters. His grandchildren were treated to trips to Disneyland, museums, and concerts. After Helen died, Bob kept up with high school and college graduations, and he walked two granddaughters down the aisle when they were married.
After Helen died, Bob found another loving companion in Beth Nichols and for 10 years spent the month of January in the warmth of the St. George, UT, area, playing golf. They took trips together, celebrated holidays, and even though they were eventually separated by distance, they maintained a loving relationship until Bob’s final day.
Bob is survived by his three daughters, Alyson Heyrend, Karin Phetteplace, and Christine (Richard) Jayo, six grandchildren, Natalie (Jake) Darro, Carly (Paul) Wohlt, Jill (Tyler) Williams, Ben, Amanda and Andrew, and one great-grandchild, Evelyn. The family would like to thank caregiver Chris Lomas for his tireless service and friendship. Also, the family thanks all the professional caregivers at Keystone Hospice. Bob spent many hours chatting with hospice nurse Carrie Wilson, and he always looked forward to her visits.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Parkinson’s Foundation, the Boise Public Library, or the Helen B. Lowder Park, Boise Parks & Recreation Heritage Fund. Bob will be laid to rest next to Helen at a private graveside service for family and friends.
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