Obituary: Lowell G. Howe (Sept. 17, 1931 – July 1, 2013)

By Submitted July 15, 2013 05:39 pm

 Lowell G. Howe, 81 of Patterson, Calif., passed away peacefully in his sleep on Monday, July 1, 2013.

Lowell was born in Crescent City. After graduation from Del Norte High School in Crescent City, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. Returning from his service as a Military Policeman at Lakenheath AFB, England, he worked in a sawmill for a short time. Working long hard hours on the green chain for little pay, he decided he could do better providing for his family by starting his own business. So he then left the security of corporate employment and began his ambition and dream of self-employment. Using an unusual business model, 100-percent customer satisfaction no matter whether he made a profit or not, a handshake was his contract and his word was his bond. 


He began by opening a soda fountain named the Bon Ton, complete with pinball machines that he mastered and remained undefeated on, in the 1950s in Crescent City, and ended with a restaurant equipment business named Howe Distributors in San Leandro, Calif., which he sold in the 1980s. He moved to Patterson, Calif., after selling his successful business and retired. It was in Patterson that he began his hobby and love of collecting cars. Like anything else he did in life, he went all-out; nothing he ever attempted was anything but perfection. Eventually, he had one of the largest collections of Imperials in the world. Imperial enthusiasts from around the globe would call or come to visit him for hours talking about Imperials. His reputation was everything; his honesty, knowledge, and sense of humor were his tools to maintain it, However, his greatest success in life was raising his two sons. Always the salesman, but no matter how big the sale or who he was with at the time, his family came first. It was not unusual for him to tell someone, “I’ve got to go; I’m meeting my sons for a last-minute lunch.”

Our fondest memories of our Pop will be the joyful hours sitting in his shop, laughing and gazing out onto his “vast Imperial empire,” with Pop enjoying his signature cigar, Green Bay Packer ball cap, Carhart vest and his beloved dogs barking in the background. Discussing everything with humor, from world affairs, politics, cars, aircrafts, which world dictator was “just a misunderstood guy,” but most importantly recounting family adventures and mishaps of years passed. 

He is survived by his sister, Georgia Allen of Crescent City; his two sons, Loran Howe and his life partner Janis of Modesto, Calif.; Larry Howe and his wife Gay of Grass Valley, Calif.; and his grandchildren Loran Howe, Jr., Lowell Howe, Lance Howe, Brandie Hirrill, Travis Howe, Trevor Howe, Chad Sargent, and their families.

A Celebration of Life and Memorial will be held at Mills Restaurant in Patterson, Calif., at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 27, 2913.

-- Submitted by Family.