Obituaries – 11-25-2020

Austin Clark Lowry

Austin Clark Lowry, 92, of Holmes Beach, died Nov. 15.

He was born March 23, 1928, in Owego, New York, to Donaldson R. and Emily Clark.

He served in the U.S. Marine Corps at the end of World War II, was a graduate of the Owego Free Academy, held an undergraduate degree from St. Bonaventure University and a masters from Cornell University.

He spent his career at Cornell University in the Agronomy Department and the Department of Agriculture Economics (the School of Applied Economics and Management) as the extension associate responsible for the Cornell Agricultural Management Information System. He retired in 1986.

In 1960, he met Virginia transplant Suzanne Prillaman, who was a graduate student at Cornell. They married in 1961 and settled in Ithaca’s Ellis Hollow, where they raised their two children and made many lifelong friends.

Becoming a first-time parent at almost 40, he was an extremely loving and dedicated father, who always showed great interest and pride in his children’s lives.

He was a faithful hockey dad and spent many cold Ithaca winters at predawn practices and games.

His children were rewarded by his vast knowledge and his vivid story telling, which included many accounts of his time during WWII.

An avid squash player, he competed against young Cornell students well into his 60s. He began running in his late 50s and took his daughter on her first run at 15 years old, which encouraged her lifelong love of the sport.

He spent many happy retirement years on Anna Maria Island, where he joined and acquired many dear friends with the early morning beach walkers. He had many rewarding years as a volunteer with Bradenton Tidewell Hospice and with “Friends of Bill,” whose friendship and patience made his late life not only possible, but productive and happy.

Diagnosed with late-stage pancreatic cancer four weeks prior to his death, he spent his final weeks surrounded by family and friends and enjoyed receiving cards and calls from many more.

His family is grateful for the support and for the care received from Tidewell Hospice.

He and his family are especially grateful to caregiver Veronica Betancur for the love and support she gave him in his final five years.

He will be remembered for his kindness, genuine interest in others, humor, generosity, intelligence and disinterest in the material.

An outdoor and socially distanced celebration of life will be at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27, at Roser Memorial Community Church, 512 Pine Ave., Anna Maria.

He is survived by his wife, Suzanne P. of Ithaca, New York, and Holmes Beach; son Brian R. and wife Carlyn Carey of Dennisport, Massachusetts; daughter Heather Cundey and husband John Bartlett of Short Hills, New Jersey;  grandchildren Alison Cundey, Nicholas Cundey and Phebe Carey; and several nieces and nephews.


Michael ‘Sol Man’ Steach

Capt. Michael “Sol Man” Steach, 56, of Holmes Beach, died Nov. 19. He arrived to Anna Maria Island in 1991. He was born May 5, 1964, at Joint Base Andrews-Naval Air Facility Washington, Prince George’s County, Maryland. A “paddle-out, a traditional ” surfer’s memorial service, is being planned for next year at a date to be determined. He is survived by his life-partner Erin Hughey. Islander Courtesy Photos.

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