David Britten Lowry 1914-2010
David Britten Lowry of Medford, Oregon, is remembered as a leader of the U.S. pear industry for many years. He died on August 18 at the age of 96, just a couple of years after retiring from the pear business.
He was born in Medford, where his father was orchard manager for Bear Creek Corporation (Harry & David). Growing up, Lowry worked in the orchards, carrying water on horseback to the pickers. He graduated from the University of Oregon and went into the pear business. He bought land, grew pears, and ran Associated Fruit Company, starting in the late 1940s.
He was an innovator, creating new pear varieties and introducing red pears and Asian pears into the market place. He formed an appreciation and respect for Mexican people and their culture.
He was a trustee of the Pear Bureau Northwest and a member of its executive committee for 25 years. He was also a member of the Northwest Fresh Bartlett Marketing Committee from 1965 until 1987. He was a board member of the Oregon Bartlett Pear Commissioner from 1965 until 1984, and chaired the commission in 1969-1971.
His first wife Mary died in 1983. He married her sister Caroline the following year. He is survived by his wife, his brother Wally, his children Rhea Arthur and David Lowry, and his stepchildren Diane Williams Englehardt, John Williams, Greg Williams, and Anita Williams Grimaldi. His daughter Mary Lee Lowry preceded him in death.