September 30, 1933 - June 21, 2017
Fred H. Lowder was called home June 21, 2017 to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, with assurance, Romans 8:38-39 that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord. A Celebration Service will be held at 2:00 PM, Saturday, June 24, 2017 at First United Methodist Church with Rev. Paul Goodrich officiating. Burial will be held prior to the service at 1:00 PM, at Riverside Cemetery under the direction of Lunn's Colonial Funeral Home. Family visitation will be from 6:00-7:00 p.m. on Friday at Lunn's.
Fred was born September 30, 1933, in Olney Texas, on his grandparents “Willis Farm.” He attended grade school in Olney. After moving to Wichita Falls he attended Reagan, Wichita Falls High School and Midwestern State University. He continued his education at Cornell University in 1978
After college and service in the US Army, with a tour of duty in Korea, he entered the family business, which continued to grow. Fred set up the original books for Jiffy Food Stores and the family business grew to include Wholesale Food Distribution Company and a real estate company. He brought the first self-service gas station and Icee Slurpy to Wichita Falls. In addition, Fred pioneered the nationwide use of shrink wrap of “Certain” magazines. After selling his interest in the 66 Store Jiffy Chain, he purchased Happy Food Stores, a chain of convenience stores in Oklahoma City.
After 10 years he sold Happy Food Stores and co-founded Discovery Training Ministries, a nonprofit seminar, headquartered in Dallas, Texas. He then helped with the expansion of Discovery to Austin, Texas. Fred retired after 20 years of service with Discovery. Besides family and God, the seminar was the love and passion of his life.
Fred was President of the Texas Retail Grocery Association and when convenience stores were in their infancy, Fred along with others in Dallas, formed the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS). Fred was President of NACS in 1966 and was instrumental in the Prayer Breakfast at NACS. Fred had 25 years of perfect attendance as a member of the University Kiwanis Club. He served as president and vice-president of the Wichita Falls Symphony and also served on the advisory board. Fred served as President of the North Texas Boy Scouts and was awarded the Silver Beaver. He also served as vice president of the South Central Region BSA and was awarded the Silver Antelope.
As a member of First United Methodist Church and the ‘Bi the Way’ Sunday School Class, he served on the finance committee, the administrative board, remodeling projects other various capacities, serving as an usher for decades. At one time he was a Methodist Lay Speaker. He believed giving is receiving.
Fred was preceded in death by his parents Sherman (Slim) H. Lowder and Elsie Willis Lowder, and a brother-in-law, George Wilson.
He is survived by his wife, Linda Gray Lowder, whom he met at a Methodist Youth Function at First United Methodist Church. They married in the same church 60 years ago. They have two sons, both Eagle Scouts, who have their God and Country awards. Steve A. Lowder and wife Susie McNeely of Dallas, Texas, Kevin Gray Lowder and wife Ronda of Wichita Falls; five grandchildren, Woody A. Lowder, Libby Lowder, Morgan, Rachel and Kayden Gray Lowder; a sister, Kathryn Wilson of Lexington, Kentucky and a brother, Jim L. Lowder and wife Kay; one great grandson, Grayson and several nieces and nephews.
Fondly remembering the family at their Possum Kingdom Lake Home, loving his God, family, church, scouts, symphony and the seminar were at the core of his life.
The family will be receive friends at the funeral from 6-7 PM on Friday, June 23, 2017.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the charity of choice. Praise to God for the time we had him because, 1 Cor: 2:9 ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’