1988-89 TPA president Fred Lowe dies

Fred E. Lowe, 1988-89 president of Texas Press Association, died March 22, 2005, at Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple after a lengthy battle with prostate cancer.

Lowe, 52, was co-owner and publisher of the Lampasas Dispatch Record. For many years, Lowe served as president of Hill Country Publishing Co. Inc., the parent corporation of the Dispatch Record, Xerox Sales and The Print Shop.

He was a longtime board member and officer of Hill Country Community Press Inc., which has operated an offset newspaper publishing plant out of Fredericksburg for more than 35 years. The Dispatch, Brady Standard-Herald and Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post co-own the printing facility.

At TPA’s 110th annual convention in Arlington, Lowe introduced George W. Bush, who then was a part owner of the Texas Rangers pro baseball team but was contemplating a run for Texas governor.

Also as president of TPA, Lowe opened a 50-year-old time capsule at the State Fair of Texas in October 1988. In 1938, Texas publishers put several newspapers and publishing artifacts into the canister and buried it at the entrance of the fairgrounds.

In 1986-87, Lowe was president of South Texas Press Association. He also was a longtime director of STPA and had a lengthy record of service as Texas state chairman for the National Newspaper Association.

A third-generation newspaper executive, Lowe’s father Ward Lowe, one of the founders of The Lampasas Dispatch and editor and publisher of The Lampasas Dispatch and The Lampasas Record. His mother, Joyce Lowe, also was a longtime publisher of the Lampasas newspapers, having served in that capacity after her husband’s death in 1972. She died last year. His grandfather, E.C. Lowe, served as editor and publisher for a number of Central and West Texas newspapers — the last of which was The Lometa Reporter.

Born April 26, 1952, Lowe started working for the family enterprise in the mailroom, at the age of 8. By the age of 10 he had added photography and work in the casting room to his list of duties.

He became co-editor of his high school newspaper, and went on to win the Quill and Scroll Big Inch Award, for having 10,000 column inches of his work printed during his high school career.

Lowe turned down several journalism scholarship offers and entered the University of Texas at Arlington as a business major. During his time at UTA, he worked for the Arlington Citizen-Journal as a photographer.

In 1974, Lowe received his BBA, with honors. Shortly before he graduated, he and Anne Cooper were married, on Aug. 16, 1974, in Fort Worth.

He was employed as a claims representative for Employer’s Insurance of Texas from 1974 to 1976. He then returned to Lampasas to join the staff of the Dispatch Record as advertising manager.

Lowe left Lampasas in 1978 to become general manager of the Copperas Cove Leader. A year later he became publisher of the Copperas Cove Leader-Press when the two competing newspapers were merged by Taylor Communications Inc.

He returned to Lampasas in 1982 to become general manager of the family’s twin weekly newspapers. Two years later, The Dispatch and The Record were merged to become the Lampasas Dispatch Record. Then, in 1985, Lowe and his brother, Jim, purchased the newspaper from their mother.

Lowe had a long history of civic involvement in Lampasas.

At the time of his death, he was a member of the Lampasas Independent School District’s Blue Ribbon Task Force Committee.

He served on a broadly based committee of community leaders, whose work ultimately led to construction of Hanna Springs Intermediate School.

At the city level, he served on the Hanna Springs Pool Project Committee, whose efforts led to construction of a new swimming pool a short distance from some of the city’s historic springs.

Lowe also co-chaired the city’s Civic Center Task Force. The project recently received new life when the Lampasas City Council OK’d the purchase of 173 acres west of town on FM 580 West. A site for a future civic center is included in the plans that also call for a major sports/recreation complex.

He chaired the Lampasas Spring Ho Festival Committee, served as president of the Courtyard Square Association and was active in the community’s successful effort to be named a Texas Main Street City, which helped to revitalize historic buildings in Lampasas. In addition, he helped in efforts to make Lampasas a home rule city.

For many years, Lowe was an elder at New Covenant Church, and he and his wife were longtime hosts of a home covenant group, which emphasizes Bible study, prayer and fellowship.

Lowe was a former director of the Lampasas County Development Foundation.

In 1985, the local American Business Women’s Association honored him for his contributions to the local business community.

For many years, he served on the FINA/Dallas Morning News All-State Scholar-Athlete Team.

Lowe is survived by his wife, Anne; a daughter and her husband, Clair and Alfred Mayo, of Killeen, a daughter and her husband, Abby and Spencer Smith, of Springfield, Mo.; a brother, Jim Lowe, and his wife, Gail, of Lampasas, and their children, David, Ashley and Jeff; other nieces and nephews; and his father- and mother-in-law, Ab and Esther Cooper of Fort Worth.