Vivian Marie Lowery, a Sunday school teacher, died on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. She was 80.
She was born on Nov. 11, 1928, to the late Elizabeth M. Neal and John J. Massey in Montclair, New Jersey. She was the third oldest of six siblings.
She was educated in the public schools of Newark, New Jersey.
She married the late John Robert “Larry” Lowery. The couple had two sons.
“Lowery was a wonderful daughter and loving sibling who cherished time with her family,” said the family. “There was nothing she would not do for them.”
A proud homemaker, Lowery was often the babysitter and caretaker for her nieces and nephews.
She relocated to Philadelphia with her two sons for new opportunities. When she became needed to use a wheelchair, they went shopping together and aided her.
Lowery joined Sanctuary Church Of God in Christ under Elder Otis Massey, where she served on the Mothers and Usher Boards. She was greatly respected and was given the nickname “Big Cuz” by some members. Following the death of Massey, she was convinced by her cousin James “Jimmie” Franklin to join Greater Bible Community Tabernacle Church, under Bishop Stacey W. Roberts. She adored her pastor and was touched by his friendship and kindness. She loved her church and its members and was on the Mothers Board. She also taught Sunday school classes, which she loved.
“She had a zest for living, laughter, and friendship but would let you know without hesitation what was on her mind,” said the family. “She was authentic and down to earth.”
She appreciated her friendships with phone buddy Almeta Little and church member Linda Johnson, who was also her spiritual daughter. Her cousin Jimmie was her buddy and all-around “I’m here for you cousin.” She maintained a bond with former daughter-in-law Jeraldene Massey, who often hosted backyard cookouts. Lowery missed the last one, which was held on Sept. 20. “She was so looking forward to it; instead, God welcomed her to a Great Camp Meeting in the Promised Land,” the family wrote.
She was preceded in death by her siblings, John Jr., Eleanor and Doris.
She is survived by: her sons, Raymond and Michael; two sisters, Marjorie and Loretta; six grandchildren, Dana, Stephanie, Alicia, Candace, Michael and John; eight great-grandchildren; a host of cousins, nieces and nephews; a loving church family; and a host of friends.
Services were held on Saturday, Sept. 28, at Greater Community Bible Tabernacle,
Clarence Johnson Jr. Funeral Home handled the arrangements.