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Edward David Lowry
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Birth: Nov. 3, 1917
King County
Washington, USA
Death: Jul. 22, 2009
Whatcom County
Washington, USA


Edward David Lowry died of natural causes in Bellingham on 2009 July 22. He was born in Seattle on 1917 November 3. When his father joined the Consular Service of the United States and then was posted to Cuba, Ed moved there as a child with his parents; it was in that insular country that his brother, Jose, was born. After an interval in Cuba, Ed, his parents, and his brother moved to Mexico, where his father took up his next post, and where Ed's sister, Carmelita, was born. Ed spent much of his childhood and youth in those two countries, and became immersed in Spanish-American culture, gaining fluency in Spanish as a child; he retained this fluency for the rest of his life. And while resident as a youthful gringo in Mexico, he acquired a native's understanding of and appreciation for tauromachy.

The death of Ed's father while Ed was yet adolescent precipitated Ed's return to the country of his birth, where he took up residence with relatives of his mother, in Illinois. Several years later, he enrolled in the University of Illinois, where he pursued a baccalaureate course in which he studied mathematics principally. After the University of Illinois graduated Ed, he went to work, in East Alton, Illinois, for the Winchester-Western Division of what is now known as the Olin Corporation. There he began a decades-long career as a ballistician. Although most of Ed's work was concerned with the ballistics of shot, during World War II, he worked on the trajectories of other species of projectiles. And he married Nadejda Popov in Florissant, Missouri, on 1943 March 5. Eighteen months later, their son, Edward Popov Lowry, was born. By 1949, he had been transferred by his employer from East Alton, Illinois, to New Haven, Connecticut, historically the home of Winchester, as the famed Winchester Repeating Arms Company, and where it still had a presence. Ed always regretted not availing himself of a colleague's kindly offer of a pair of tickets to the pre-Broadway tryout of Rogers & Hammerstein's musical South Pacific, with its original Broadway cast, which took place in New Haven; he had no way of knowing that the show would go on to become a smash of historic proportions.

By 1968, Ed had become Director of Fundamental Research for Winchester-Western Division of Olin Mathieson Chemical Corporation. He was asked by the Manufacturing Chemists' Association to write a book that was to be part of its series Chemistry in Action. Ed agreed, and the result was his second book, Interior Ballistics: How a Gun Converts Chemical Energy into Projectile Motion, a largely non-technical study written for the interested layman, published by Doubleday & Company in 1968. His earlier book was Exterior Ballistics of Small Arms Projectiles. When, not long before Ed retired from the Olin Corporation, the issue of toxicity of lead shot arose, Ed conducted research on the ballistics of iron shot versus those of lead shot. When Ed retired from the Olin Corporation in the 1970's, he had spent his entire life as an adult east of the Mississippi.

Looking for a change of scene, he and his wife decided to check out Vancouver, British Columbia, as a place to live in retirement. On their way there they stopped off in Bellingham, and liked what they saw well enough to decide to go no further; Bellingham would be their home for the rest of their lives. In the late 1970's, Ed enrolled in the master's degree program in mathematics at Western Washington University, where, as a student older than average, he amused (in a best sense of the word) and delighted many of his fellow graduate students of mathematics.

He wrote a thesis, in which he expounded a waterfowl lethality model, a representation of the behavior of a hunter-shotgun-waterfowl system. It took as input the pertinent properties of the hunter's gun and ammunition, the atmospheric conditions, and the size of the target. It then produced as output the probability that the hunter bagged his target. The model did that for various degrees of the hunter's skill as a marksman, and for various ranges. After he completed his master's degree, Ed stayed on at Western Washington University as an adjunct member of the faculty of the Department of Mathematics; he taught classes at Whatcom Community College, as well. Besides classes in mathematics, he occasionally taught classes in computer programming and symbolic logic.

Ed was the author of, besides the two books cited above and several articles on ballistics in American Rifleman, Sports Afield, and similar publications, the software package Shotshell Ballistics for Windows. Comprising nine interrelated programs, it nicely filled a gap in the available software designed for use with Microsoft's Windows: although there was analytical Windows software for shooters of rifles and for shooters of handguns, until the publication of Ed's software, there had not been any such software for shooters of shotguns. Ed continued his indagations into the ballistics of shot until shortly before his death. Ed was predeceased by his brother, Jose; by his sister, Carmelita; and by his wife, Nadejda, of fifty-three years, who died of Alzheimer's disease in 1996. He is survived by his son, Edward Popov Lowry, of Hudson, Colorado; by his brother's widow, Joyce Lowry, of Albuquerque, New Mexico; and by his niece, Margo Stewart, of Lafayette, Colorado. We will remember Ed for his keen, beautiful mind and his droll sense of humor. He was possessed of a quiet charm and unostentatious gentlemanliness that were the basis of the desire, on the part of more than a few of his acquaintances, to emulate him; he invariably respected others, behaving reasonably even when those with whom he was dealing were behaving unreasonably. Good night, sweet prince.

Published in Bellingham Herald on July 22, 2010.

Family links: 
  Edward Prindle Lowry (____ - 1930)
  Rosemund P Lowry (1883 - 1967)
  Nadejda Bernice Popov Lowry (1919 - 1996)
Note: We know that Edward's last known residence was in Bellingham, WA. As yet we're not sure which cemetery his body was buried in, but we're still looking.
Bayview Cemetery
Whatcom County
Washington, USA
Created by: Lee Veal
Record added: Dec 12, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 81882910
Edward David Lowry
Cemetery Photo
Added by: jhon
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- Neil B (John 3:16)
 Added: Feb. 18, 2012

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