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Woodard County, Oklahoma

Elmwood Cemetery
Woodward, Oklahoma


Virginia Joy Hoffman Lowrey

May 31, 1932 ~ June 20, 2020

© Billings Funeral Home
Reprinted with permission

Submitted by:Ann Weber

Virginia Joy Lowrey was born in Selman, OK on May 31, 1932 to Robert and Mary (Ward) Hoffman. A child of the Great Depression, her family moved to Hesston, KS early in her life and they lived there amongst extended family until 1946 when the family relocated to Woodward, OK. Virginias family survived the 1947 Woodward tornado and they had many stories to tell about the storm and its aftermath.

Upon graduating from Woodward High School, she attended the University of Oklahoma where she was a member of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority and served on the University Student Senate, among other extracurriculars and honors including Big Woman on Campus. At OU, she rekindled her relationship with Harold Lowrey, also of Woodward, and they married on August 23, 1953. After the couple graduated from OU, they moved to Midwest City where Harold finished his law degree and Virginia taught 5th grade. When Harold graduated, the couple established their home in Woodward.

Virginia and Harold raised four children, devoting themselves to their kids and their activities and enjoying fun family vacations to Colorado. In addition, they were involved in the First Presbyterian Church, gardening, extending hospitality to neighbors, new residents and out-of-town visitors and volunteering and leading initiatives that improved the town of Woodward. In honor of their service, both Virginia and Harold were named Citizens of the Year by the Woodward Chamber of Commerce in 1996.

Virginia helped create the Woodward Community Pantry in 1978 and spent decades personally serving food to those in need. She was honored as Mrs. Clean by the Woodward Arts & Theatre Council for all the work she did during the theater renovations of the early 1980s, including cleaning grease off the stage floor, scrubbing bubble gum off the bottom of theater seats and dusting the chandeliers. She also served on the city park board and the Woodward Homeless Shelter Board. Honors received by Virginia through the years include the C.E. Williams Award from the Plains Indians and Pioneers Historical Foundation, the STAR Award from the Woodward Arts and Theatre Council and others.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Robert and Mary Hoffman and her husband, Harold.

She is survived by her sister, Bettie Casteel of Woodward, and her four children, including Robert & Jana Lowrey of Sioux Falls, SD; George Lowrey of Columbus, Ohio; Sarah & John Taylor of Edmond, OK; and Jeanne Lowrey of Oklahoma City, OK. Eight grandchildren, Taylor & April Lowrey; Nick & Leah Lowrey; Bryan Lowrey; Kathryne Taylor & Rehan Nana; Reed & Kadence Taylor; Zane Taylor; Anna Lowrey; Austin Lowrey; and her four great grandchildren, Emily Lowrey, Juliet Lowrey, Charlotte Lowrey and Hudson Taylor. She was a beloved aunt to numerous nieces and nephews.

Virginia lived a life of faith in God and was a true servant leader. She worked tirelessly to improve the lives of others in Woodward.

A reception will be held for friends and family at Billings Funeral Home in Woodward from 5-7pm on June 24. A private family funeral service will be held at 10am, June 25 at First Presbyterian Church (available to watch via Billings Funeral Home Facebook page). An open-to-the-public gravesite service will be held at Elmwood Cemetery at 11:15am. Masks are required at the church and strongly encouraged at all other events.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Virginias honor to First Presbyterian Church of Woodward with the funeral home accepting the donations.

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