Ray & Carolyn Lowrie are Marrowstone Citizens of the Year

Posted 1/20/15

Ray and Carolyn Lowrie have been named the Marrowstone Island Citizens of the Year for 2014.

The Lowries, who are longtime residents of Marrowstone Island, have done volunteer work behind the …

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Ray & Carolyn Lowrie are Marrowstone Citizens of the Year

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Ray and Carolyn Lowrie have been named the Marrowstone Island Citizens of the Year for 2014.

The Lowries, who are longtime residents of Marrowstone Island, have done volunteer work behind the scenes on numerous community projects, and are especially associated with the Chimacum schools.

They moved to the island in 1957, and knew many of its early homesteaders and residents. Carolyn became the island barber, trading her work for other needed items.

She also became known as the face of Chimacum, when she was the Chimacum Elementary School secretary. She went far beyond her job description, soothing panicked teachers, drying children’s tears and just being there for many people in need of assistance.

She has been a volunteer worker at the Church of the Redeemer for 30 years, working in all of the various jobs that needed doing. In addition to raising four children, Carolyn supported her husband in his military life and then his many volunteer projects in the area.

Ray was a biology teacher at Chimacum High School from 1960 to 1992, and had a strong sense of environmental care. He taught his students to respect the water and conserve fishing resources. He worked to get a grant to build a hatchery on Chimacum Creek, where the students actually raised salmon. As a result of this training, some of his students were able to work at the Quilcene Hatchery to earn money during school vacations. He also set up a project in which some of his students learned how to build a boat and navigate it. By going that extra mile, he was a mentor to many kids, teaching them about real-world projects and instilling in them a lifelong love and respect for nature and the environment.

He was a port commissioner from 1986 to 1992, and a board member of the North Olympic Salmon Coalition from 1993 to 2003. He was also a volunteer firefighter for the Marrowstone Fire Department from 1976 to 1988.

In October 2014, Ray received the Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award. At the presentation ceremony, it was said that his contribution to environmental stewardship was extraordinary. He knew that if kids understood nature, they would protect it. Upon receiving the award, he encouraged everyone to remember the benefits of teaching young people about the natural world and transforming them into stewards. His students have become his living legacy.

A potluck is being planned to honor the Lowries. The date is to be announced.

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