Cecil C. Lowe

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Cecil Cherry Lowe

City and Ward I Judge for Minden, Louisiana
In office
1954–1976
Preceded by Richard Harmon Drew, Sr.
Succeeded by John W. "Jack" Montgomery (interim)

Judge of the 26th Judicial District Court (Bossier and Webster parishes)
In office
January 1, 1976 – December 31, 1988
Preceded by New position
Succeeded by Richard Harmon Drew, Jr.

Born July 27, 1923
Minden, Louisiana
Died February 25, 2013 (aged 89)
Minden, Louisiana
Resting place Gardens of Memory in Minden
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Chapman Lowe (married 1949-2010, her death)
Children John Paul Lowe

Susan Elizabeth Lowe
Mark Alan Lowe, Sr.

Alma mater Minden High School

Louisiana Tech University
Louisiana State University Law Center

Occupation Judge; Attorney

United States Navy in World War II

Religion United Methodist

Cecil Cherry Lowe (July 27, 1923 – February 25, 2013) was an attorney from Minden, Louisiana, who was from 1976 to 1988 a judge of the state 26th Judicial District Court for Bossier and Webster parishes in the northwestern section of his state.

Background

A native and lifelong Minden resident, Lowe was named for his mother, the former Cecile Cherry (1898-1983). His father, Eugene Henry Lowe, Sr. (1890-1981),[1] was a native of nearby Claiborne Parish, a retired Minden merchant, and one of the founding directors of the former Minden Bank and Trust Company, since Regions Bank.[2]

Lowe graduated in 1940 fromMinden High School[3] and then attended Louisiana Tech University in Ruston. He received his legal credentials through Louisiana State University Law Center in the capital city of Baton Rouge, at which he was a board member of Louisiana Law Review in 1943 and again from 1946 to 1947. He interrupted his legal studies to serve during World War II in the United States Navy, from which he was discharged as a lieutenant in the Navy Reserve.[4] He worked for a time at the former Louisiana Army Ammunition Plant west of Minden to pay expenses for law school.[5]

Lowe was a long-term member of the First United Methodist Church of Minden, for which he was chairman of the trustees and the stewards. A former president of the Junior Chamber International, he was the "Outstanding Young Man of Minden" in 1956.[4]

Political life

In 1949, the Minden City Council appointed Lowe as the city attorney. In 1952, Lowe ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat for district attorney of the 26th Judicial District but finished third in the primary election. Louis H. Padgett, Jr. (1913-1980), of Bossier City, was elected district attorney and [6] served until 1970. In 1954, Lowe ran to succeed Richard Harmon Drew, Sr. (1917-1995), as the Minden municipal judge, a position which spills over to include all of Ward I in south Webster Parish.[5] In the Democratic runoff election, Lowe defeated A. Eugene Frazier (1922-2001), 1,784 to 1,133 votes.[7] Former Minden Mayor David William Thomas was eliminated in the primary race.[8] Drew did not seek reelection as city judge, but he later reclaimed the position twice; like Lowe, Drew had been a losing candidate for district attorney two years earlier in 1952.[6]

For a time Judge Lowe was a law partner of John B. Benton, Jr. (1924-2009), a Minden attorney who served briefly as district attorney when Louis Padgett, Jr., was elected as a state court judge.[9]

In the Democratic primary election held on August 13, 1966, Lowe handily defeated the Minden attorney Charles A. Marvin to win all but one precinct in the race for city and Ward I judge. Lowe received 2,952 votes to Marvin's 1,530.[10] Marvin subsequently in 1971 became the Bossier-Webster district attorney, succeeding the interim DA John Benton, and in 1975 a judge of the Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal, based in Shreveport. Lowe remained city judge for twenty-two years until his election on November 1, 1975, in the first ever nonpartisan blanket primary held in Louisiana to the newly established fourth judgeship of the state 26th Judicial District Court. In that contest, in which Edwin Edwards secured his second consecutive term as governor, Lowe received 15,916 votes to 11,450 for his opponent, assistant district attorney Harvey P. DeLaune (1923-2009), a Democrat from Bossier City and a combat Marine at Bougainville in the Battle of Guadalcanal and the Battle of Guam (1944).[11][12] Former state Senator John W. "Jack" Montgomery filled the city judgeship vacated by Lowe on an interim basis until Minden attorney Graydon Kelly Kitchens, Jr., won the position in a special election runoff held on June 5, 1976, against another Minden Democrat and frequent political candidate, Henry Grady Hobbs.[13]

In 1990, at the request of Judge Graydon Kitchens, Jr., by then serving on the 26th Judicial District Court, Lowe was temporarily named a judge once again on the district court.[14] Lowe was also an ad hoc judge of the Second Circuit Court of Appeal.[4] Judge Lowe was known for his stern demeanor in the courtroom. Once he sentenced a female defendant to "hard labor suspended sentence"; when the woman heard "hard labor", she collapsed to the floor and had to be revived. The judge never cracked a smile at the turn of events. He was involved in lengthy litigation regarding disputed ownership by several companies of an oilfield in Bossier Parish. Prior to his decision to retire, he was repeatedly tongue-lashed by a defense attorney in a high-profile murder case. Lowe told colleagues that his treatment in that trial hastened his decision to retire after thirty-four years as a judge.[9]

Death and family

Lowe was predeceased by his wife, the former Elizabeth Chapman (1926-2010), a native of Cairo in southern Illinois;[15] his brother, E. Henry Lowe, Jr. (1920-1987), the former superintendent of the Minden city utilities department; two sisters, Ann Elizabeth Smith of Baton Rouge and Mary Frances Lambert of Longview, Texas,[16] and a grandson, Mark Alan Lowe, Jr. He was survived by three children, John Paul Lowe and his wife, Vicki Prather Lowe, of Shreveport; Susan Elizabeth Lowe of Houston, Texas, and Mark Alan Lowe, Sr., and his wife Rebecca, of Lafayette, Louisiana, and three grandchildren.[4]

Cecil and Elizabeth Lowe are interred at Gardens of Memory in Minden.

References

  1. Eugene Henry Lowe, Jr.. findagrave.com. Retrieved on August 21, 2013.
  2. "Lowe services today", Minden Press-Herald, April 29, 1981.
  3. Minden High School: Class of 1940. mindenmemories.net. Retrieved on August 21, 2013.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Judge Cecil C. Lowe. The Shreveport Times. Retrieved on August 20, 2013.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Cecil Lowe to Run for Ward 4 Judge", Minden Herald, April 30, 1954, p. 1.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Padgett Wins in Webster by Vote of 2,976 to 1,642", Minden Herald, December 5, 1952, p. 1.
  7. "Lowe Wins Judge Race", Minden Herald, September 10, 1954, p. 1.
  8. "Lowe Leads in Judge Race", Minden Herald, July 30, 1954, p. 1.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Memorial for Judge Cecil C. Lowe, Shreveport Bar Association, October 29, 2013; no longer on-line.
  10. Minden Press-Herald, August 15, 1966, pp. 1-2.
  11. Harvey P. DeLaune obituary. genforum.genealogy.com. Retrieved on November 6, 2013.
  12. Minden Press-Herald, November 3, 1975, p. 1.
  13. Minden Press-Herald, June 7, 1976, p. 1.
  14. Minden Press-Herald, July 5, 1990, p. 1.
  15. Elizabeth C. Lowe. Shreveport Times, January 17, 2010. Retrieved on August 20, 2013.
  16. "Former City Official E. Henry Lowe dies", Minden Press-Herald, September 17, 1987.