At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Harbor Hospice Foundation
1050 W Western Avenue
Muskegon, MI 49441
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Mattie Lowery would agree that she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She was a longtime resident of the community she loved, and she was the sort of person who thought of others more than herself. Deeply devoted to her family, Mattie was so thrilled to witness her family tree blossom to include the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren she treasured. Life wasn’t always easy for her, but she faced whatever came her way with both strength and courage. Although she will be dearly missed, she leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that her loved ones will forever hold near and dear to their hearts.
Life during the 1930s was anything but easy as the entire decade was cloaked in the hardship of the Great Depression. Jobs were hard to come by, which made the unemployment rate soar, leaving countless American families without homes. Despite the trials around them, Buford and Ella (Hall) French were able to shift their focus to an exciting time in their lives as they announced the birth of the baby girl they named Mattie Lou on October 9, 1935, in Springville, Tennessee. The second of four children, she was raised on the family farm alongside her older brother, Robert, and her younger siblings, William and Linda.
In many ways, Mattie was a young girl of her generation. Her father was a share cropper when she was born, and they grew cotton, corn, and peanuts. As was typical, Mattie and her siblings were required to help on the farm, although they were lucky to have mules that pulled the plow.
Their home didn’t have electricity until 1947 when Mattie was 12 years old. Although Mattie was not a big fan of doing chores, later in life she appreciated the things they did and had in those early years. In 1951 they joined other family members in Muskegon, Michigan, where her father found work at Shaw Walker. They settled in the Nims School neighborhood, living in various homes over the years, although they were all within walking distance to Mattie’s father’s work. Mattie didn’t sign up for school there so she found work babysitting and doing other odd jobs to help bring some extra money into the family.
Not to be forgotten during Mattie’s years as a young woman was her introduction to the boy who would forever hold the key to her heart. His name was James “Buddy” Lowery, and they met while she and her family were attending the local Tabernacle Church. Although they met as kids, they became reacquainted in 1956. Interestingly, he and his family had also moved to the area from Tennessee. The two began dating and soon found themselves deeply in love. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, Mattie and James were married on September 15th, 1956, in Corinth, Mississippi, where Buddy’s best man lived. Together they welcomed three children including William in 1957, Brenda in 1959, and Steve in 1961 into their hearts and home.
Over the years the Lowery family lived in various apartments and homes in the Nims Neighborhood where Mattie had also grown up. Buddy eventually found work at Shaw Walker, and once their kids were a little older Mattie worked making curtain rolls at Breneman’s. Around the house she made sure that everything was always neat, orderly, and in its place.Their clothes were always ironed and starched, and she took care of the mending and sewing too. Mattie was a fantastic cook, and she liked to make the old Southern dishes that she learned from her days in Tennessee.
Throughout her life Mattie was a woman of many interests. As a family they attended the Apostolic Tabernacle and some other area churches. Mattie particularly liked the gospel music, and she sang in a trio at church, too. An animal lover, she had several dogs over the years including her most recent treasured companion, BeBe, who never left her side. In her recent days she was almost always in Mattie’s arms. The family didn’t travel much, but they did make annual trips back to Tennessee to visit relatives. Mattie liked crocheting, doing crossword puzzles, and hunting for bargains at various thrift shops. Family get-togethers were something she always looked forward to.
Daily life wasn’t always easy for Mattie. She had some serious health issues over the years, but she was a true fighter. She survived breast cancer and later ended up with a staph infection in her spine. Although the doctors said she would most likely never walk again, she ended up proving them wrong after six months in nursing and countless hours of therapy. Mattie and her husband eventually moved out of the big family home and settled into a doublewide in Arlington Estates. After Buddy suffered a stroke, Mattie tenderly cared for him until his death in 2008. Independent and determined, she continued living on her own and still drove herself to the store. Mattie loved spending time with her grandchildren, and a few even moved in with her when they were going through some challenging periods in their lives. In time, the years took their toll, and she had trouble walking and experienced several falls.
In everything she did, Mattie Lowery continually thought of others. She always tried to repay those who helped her at times and had a genuine servant’s heart. A more loving and compassionate person would be hard to find, and through Mattie’s love countless others were abundantly blessed. She will never be forgotten.
Mattie Lou Lowery, passed away Friday, August 24, 2018. Mattie’s family includes her sons, Steve (Lori) Lowery of Fremont; daughter, Brenda (Michael) Jensen of Muskegon; grandchildren, Nicole, Erica, Samantha, AJ, William Jr., Kenny & Ryan; great grandchildren, Benjamin, Marshall & Emma; daughter-in-law, Mary Lowery of Muskegon; brother, Bill French of Muskegon; sister, Linda Hardin of Muskegon; several nieces & nephews; and her fur baby, Bebe. Mattie was preceded in death by her husband, James in 2008; son, William in 2015 & brother, Robert in 2010. Services will be held on Wednesday, August 29, 2018, 11:00 a.m. at the Clock Chapel - Muskegon with Pastor Steve Sower officiating. Interment in Egelston Township Cemetery. Visit with Mattie’s family and friends on Tuesday, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Clock Funeral Home - Muskegon. Memorials can be made to Harbor Hospice Foundation.