Article Category: People | Pillars | SC28

Following Family Footsteps | James A. Lowe II

Posted Monday, Jun 15
Written By Alice Adams
Photography By Bobby Carlsen
Lowe Funeral Home | Burlington, North Carolina
Southern Calls, Vol. 28, June 2020

Like his grandfather and father before him, third-generation Funeral Director/Embalmer James A. “Jim” Lowe II is passionate about helping others. The owner and president of Lowe (rhymes with wow) Funeral Home in Burlington, North Carolina, has been a willing participant on mission trips with two local churches for almost a quarter of a century, “sometimes five or six weeks a year.”

That wasn’t always the case. For two years, a minister tried to convince him to go on a mission, and he always found an excuse to say no.

“That first trip involved a 36-hour drive north to Canada and then 10 to 12 hours to get to Easterville, Manitoba, a little town with two stores, an ice rink and a Royal Canadian Mounted Police station with a huge antenna and one large church that was only framed in,” he said.

Lowe Funeral Home, Burlington, NC

Working in uncommonly cold weather for residents of the Tarheel State, they built a church for the Chemawawin Nation. And Jim was hooked. Jim went back to his home church and formed their own mission team.

People Memorial Christian Church also sent mission groups to the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota, and, one year, Jim and his wife towed a U-Haul filled with Christmas presents for the children on the reservation. Being one-eighth Cherokee makes missions that help Native Americans more than hilanthropic.

“It’s meaningful to do the mission’s work for anyone, but that little connection makes our assistance more personal,” he said of the 20-plus trips Jim has made with the two Burlington churches. “Anytime you do something for someone in need, your insides just feel good.”

His passion is understandable, but how does he manage to run his funeral home if he’s away for weeks at a time?

“My grandfather taught me we were there to take care of families first,” he began. “My grandfather said if a family told us to hop on the casket and ride it through town yelling, ‘yippee ki-yay,’ that’s what we should do – and the second concern would be to take care of the staff.”

“We have a staff I would put up against any in the world,” Jim continued. “I have three who’ve been here more than 30 years and eight who have worked here over 20 years.”

The remainder of this article is reserved for subscribers only

In addition to receiving all of our quarterly magazines by mail, subscribers to Southern Calls have exclusive access to additional online articles, as well as ability to read all Southern Calls magazine articles as they come available.

Get your One Year or Two Year subscription today, or login here to continue viewing the rest of the article. 

Southern Calls Issue 28

Order this issue

Southern Calls Issue 28

In stock

Articles Relating to Issue 28

Marty Mitchell | Iowa Funeral Museum

Marty Mitchell | Iowa Funeral Museum

Some people collect stamps or baseball cards – or maybe dolls or trophies. Marty Mitchell is into all things funereal. “When we opened Mitchell Family Funeral Home in 2005, I already had a garage full of caskets and funeral memorabilia, so we took an extra room in the…

A Legacy of Family and Community | Vines Funeral Home

A Legacy of Family and Community | Vines Funeral Home

On a sunny, early autumn day in LaFayette, Alabama, a sleepy little town of fewer than 3,000 people, professional vehicles were displayed on the front lawn of what was once a modest brick bungalow. There was a stage encircled with a wreath of balloons woven into an…

Issue 28 Available Now

Issue 28 Available Now

There’s definitely an eye for history in Issue 28, from the service-minded 3rd generation funeral director Jim Lowe of Burlington, NC, to the newly-recognized National Register of Historic Places Vines Funeral Home of LaFayette, Alabama, and out to Marshalltown, Iowa…

Other Recent Articles

The Blood Embalming Board

The Blood Embalming Board

Charles Blood -- Dunkirk, New York | The Casket, December 1899 This photo-engraving shows a body laid out on The Blood Embalming Board. The entire construction, together with the drapery, and next appearance of the whole outfit, is in every way different from any...

read more
Unknown Soldier

Unknown Soldier

America’s Unknown Soldier Comes Home to His Native Soil For him, our Unknown Soldier, it is all over; the sadness of parting from loved ones, the long ocean voyage, the grind of the training camps, the weary marches to the front, the roar of the barrage and then that...

read more
Bet Lost

Bet Lost

Jonesboro, Georgia | November 4, 1949 Bill Eubanks (R) lost an election bet to O.I. Carroll, (L) when he agreed to ride in a hearse through the streets of Jonesboro.  Eubanks not only lost but rode through the streets entombed in a coffin and driven - in humility...

read more
Marty Mitchell | Iowa Funeral Museum

Marty Mitchell | Iowa Funeral Museum

Some people collect stamps or baseball cards – or maybe dolls or trophies. Marty Mitchell is into all things funereal. “When we opened Mitchell Family Funeral Home in 2005, I already had a garage full of caskets and funeral memorabilia, so we took an extra room in the...

read more
Grave Marker

Grave Marker

Patent 1,573,268, filed July 6, 1925 | William F. Norman, Nevada, Mo. A grave marker including a rear plate having a hinging bead upon its upper edge throughout the length thereof, and apertured covering plate having a cooperative hinging bead throughout the length of...

read more
The Recessional

The Recessional

The Art of Undertaking | From our Limited Series of prints by Southern Calls “Red clay fills the hole left in our hearts. Only flowers remain as guardians of the grave, until they too wither and die. Rows of headstones remind us of a new reality. Homeward bound.” ...

read more

Join Our Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter to periodically receive article updates, industry news, and details about new issues before they are released.

The Magazine