Thomas Guynne Lowry
West Point, 1969
Be Thou At Peace
Posted by Tom Reinhardt on January 31, 2017:
2nd Lieutenant Thomas Guynne Lowry (Retired)
1 February 1947 - 25 October 2001
Tom's appointment to and eventual graduation from the United States Military Academy was the culmination of his lifelong ambition. As a young boy, Tom's goal was to join the Long Gray Line. In preparation, he attended and graduated from the Greenbrier Military School in Lewisburg, West Virginia in 1965.
Tom started as the consummate plebe but the one that was not going to take himself or his surroundings too seriously. You could tell that he believed in the place but was going to have a good time and not be consumed by the Grey Machine. He did his share of whining and moaning, but deep down you understood that he really believed in West Point and really wanted to be an Officer. Tommy was the one that made us laugh, and forget the misery, and carry on, and suffer through that first year. He struggled, as we all did, but he was the one that pushed us..."if I can do it (and he did), then you can do it (and we did)". Lowry was the best friend any one could ask for....loyal, committed, guiding, encouraging. As we progressed through the years Tom remained the same; someone with a tremendous sense of humor and a tremendous outlook on life. He grew as we all did and today 45 years after our graduation and way too many years since Tom was taken from us by diabetes and cancer, his friends still tell Tom Lowry stories. His pranks and escapades were things of legend with the price of his not being a stranger to spending his free time walking with a rifle. He would never let down his friends, family or eventually his fellow soldiers.
From the start, it was obvious that Tom embodied the concept of duty, honor, country. His wife tells us that as a boy all Tom wanted to do was to go to West Point. It was self evident to all those close to him that West Point, and eventually his wife Deborah, were the center of his universe. Tom often got into trouble -- especially as a plebe -- and some of us ended up walking the area with Tom or suffering the collateral damage from the hazing that was directed his way. But that was easy to bear because we could think about all the fun we had getting into trouble with Tom
As a 'firstie' he was a power to be reckoned with; no dare was too great. And due to his leadership skills, we always took the dare (to the chagrin of many of us). But regardless of the outcome, he never let us down and was the first to admit was his idea, his challenge. We were his 'troops' and he took responsibility.
While he enjoyed playing tennis, Tom's nemesis at West Point was the physical Education Department. The reason for his struggles passing the PT test became obvious shortly after graduation. His dreams were dashed in 1970 after a diagnosis of Type 1 (insulin dependent) diabetes. Medically retired as 2LT on 6 April 1970, Tom had served 10A months and 3 days. He never recovered from the disappointment of not being able to be a career Army Officer.
Tom went on to make a career in the banking industry retiring as a Senior Vice President in 1987. Life became even more complicated for him when he was struck with esophageal cancer.
According to his wife Deborah, West Point was Tom's true love, and his happiest days were spent there. The Long Gray Line" movie was "required viewing" in the Lowry home every time it was televised.
Tom succumbed to the effects of diabetes on 25 October 2001 at the age of 54. His ashes, appropriately, are inurned in the Columbarium in the Old Cadet Chapel; forever at West Point, the place he loved so dearly.
May it be said, "Well Done"; be Thou at peace.
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