470 Massachusetts Avenue, Acton MA 01720


Mary A. Lowry

Mary A. Lowry

Friday, February 5th, 2021
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Thank you.

Mary A. Lowry, 90, died peacefully at home in Worcester, Massachusetts, in the company of her life partner Marion Sugden Lill, her niece Sharon Lowry, and her beloved Physician Sheila Trugman, after a year of multiple hospitalizations for pneumonia.

Mary was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts to Alice M. Gaffney Lowry originally from Nashua NH and Charles F. Lowry Sr. of Cambridge MA. She is a graduate of Cambridge High and Latin School and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Mary was active in theater productions at UMASS and in community theaters in Boston and at Tufts University, Somerville, MA. Mary worked for 20+ years in Lowry Opticians, her family's business in Harvard Square. She was also a founder of New Words Bookstore, Cambridge MA, the first women's bookstore in New England, where she worked until her retirement in 1993.

In the 1950's and 60's Mary held a commercial pilots license and both flew and taught others to fly gliders. She was a member of the Ninety-Nines, an international organization of women pilots where she participated in air racing, including calculating timed results before calculators or computers.

In recent years Mary could be found reading voraciously (4 or 5 books a week) with a dog or 2 at her feet.

Mary was predeceased by her older brother, Charles F. Lowry Jr. She is survived by her partner, Marion Lill; her sister-in- law, Mary Lu Lowry of Wakefield, MA; her niece Marian Laviolette and her husband Bob and son and grandchildren of West Springfield, MA; her nephew Matthew Lowry and his wife Elizabeth and daughter of Wakefield, MA; her nephew Michael Lowry and his wife Angela and children of Seabrook, NH; and her niece Sharon Lowry of Framingham, Massachusetts. She is also survived by her Kelly relatives of Enfield, NH: John and Diane and their 3 children and grandchild .

Mary is further survived by her Sugden nieces and nephews: Robert F. Sugden of Fairbanks, Alaska and his wife Renee, their 3 children, spouses and grandchildren; Christopher A. Sugden of California and his wife Cindy, his 3 children, and their spouses or partners; Denise A. Culver of California and her husband Cliff and their 2 sons, spouses and grandchildren; Charles R. Sugden of Washington State and his 3 daughters, spouses or partners and grandchildren; Patricia R. Rodriguez and her husband Jose and their 3 children, spouses and grandchildren; deceased nephew Jeffrey S. Sugden and his children and grandchildren; and niece Kelly M. Sugden and her wife Janet and their 2 sons.

The family would like to particularly thank Mary’s care givers: doctors Delrosario and Trugman for the extraordinary care they provided, as well as the staff at Davita Dialysis Center. We most especially thank her home care givers: Matilda, Margaret and Tabitha who during the last months and weeks of Mary’s life dramatically improved the quality of her life.

There will be a burial service in March with just family and close friends, following which Mary will be buried in Eastwood Cemetery, Lancaster MA.

Covid permitting, there will be a celebration of Mary's life within the next year.

In lieu of flowers please make a donation to the charity of your choice or to the Worcester County Food Bank, 474 Boston Turnpike, Shrewsbury, MA 01545.

Memorial page actonfuneralhome.com
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Private Condolence

Katherine Tucker

Posted at 07:36am
I worked with Marion and Mary at the Law Office in West Concord. Mary was a bright and energetic woman who took great pride in whatever she was doing at the time and loved Marion, their Dogs and her Family dearly. I did not however know that she was a pilot so thank you for sharing her bio. She was an incredible Woman.
My deepest condolences to Marion.
-Kathy Tucker

Arthur N. Rosen

Posted at 01:33pm
To Marion, and the Lowry and Sugden families,

I am so sorry for your loss. I remember having many interesting discussions with Mary at our yearly visits. In particular, at our last chat I remember the discussion with both Mary and Marion about the "new" rage, the Kindle. Betty was convinced by that discussion and has been using one with great enthusiasm for many years now.

Again, sending condolences on your loss of a wonderful person and companion.

Eileen Brady

Posted at 02:26pm
I have such happy memories of Mary at New Words, her home with Marion, and encounters in NH (family wakes and funerals for Martin Kelly and Sister Harold Kelly). She let me take books from the store to sell at our Mercy Motherhouse for a Women's Day and that is how we found her connection to Sr. Harold. Always generous and friendly, knowledgeable and caring. It must be hard to be without her loving presence. Wishing Marion and all the family strength and happy memories to ponder over and over. Take care and thanks for sharing her with so many. - Eileen Brady, RSM, Nashua NH.


Posted at 08:59pm
To Mary’s Marion, Lowry and Sugden families- I am so sorry for your loss of this exceptional woman and dear family member.

“A picture is worth a thousand words!” And there are SO many words that can describe and capture Mary’s life! Two of those many words come to mind: 1) Bibliophile and 2) Contemplative. I remember many years ago Mary was asked how to properly pronounce the word Contemplative. Given that Mary had such an incredible command of the English language, she responded, “...there are two different ways to pronounce it. Most people say con-tem-(PLAY)-tive but I prefer con-tem-(PLAH)- tive!”
We know that everybody dies but not everyone knows how to live. Mary’s love and passion were reflected in every aspect of her life. Some of which is seen in the photos, she surely lived life to the fullest!
Mary was a great student of life and to me, a great teacher!
My condolences to all who loved her.
-a loving friend from the Midwest.

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