Events Honor the Life and Legacy of Isaac Lowe, Beloved Civil Rights Leader

Isaac Lowe, tireless leader, dedicated civil rights activist and beloved matriarch of Redding’s black community, died Wed., Dec. 30, 2015, in Redding. She was 94.
In 2009 I had the honor to interview Lowe over many hours for a three-part series published here on A News Cafe.com, “Living Black History Celebrates Isaac Lowe”, after she’d returned from Washington, D.C., where she’d attended President Barack Obama’s inauguration. 
This obituary was written by Lowe’s family.  Below Lowe’s obituary are details about numerous upcoming celebrations to honor Lowe and her legacy. Rest in peace, Isaac Lowe. – Doni Chamberlain
Isaac Lowe

Isaac Lowe, Sept. 15, 1921, to Dec. 30, 2015

The second youngest of nine children, Isaac Jefferson Lowe was born on Sept. 15, 1921 in Wharton, Texas. She quickly learned that if you wanted something, you have to work and fight for it.
Before coming to California she graduated from Wharton High School, Tilloston Business College in Austin, and Prairie View A&M in Prairie View, Texas.
Isaac traveled to California to visit Freddie Brooks, a friend from college who was sick and needed care. It was during that visit that she met Vernon Lowe. Isaac and Vernon where married soon after and began a family in Redding.
Isaac Lowe young mother

In 1950 the Lowes founded the Redding Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), a civil rights organization for ethnic minorities in the United States.

Despite having numerous college degrees, Lowe was unable to find work in Redding because of her race, so she started a catering business. She eventually secured a job at a doctor’s office, and later worked in Shasta County Social Services for 17 years. After her retirement from Shasta County, Lowe turned her attention and concentration to civil rights projects in the Redding area.
isaac lowe at event
She was the first black woman to serve on the Shasta County Grand Jury. She was a founding member of Shasta County Citizens Against Racism (SCCAR). And in 1992, she was named Redding’s Citizen of the Year.
Although she earned numerous accolades, Lowe was most proud of being instrumental in convincing the Redding City Council to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a holiday in 2002, several years after it was declared a federal holiday in 1986.
Lowe was preceded in death by her husband Vernon, and son Clarence.
She is survived by her son Robert and wife Gloria; grandchildren Robert Lowe, Stephanie Lowe, Russell Lowe, Clarity (Lowe) Roberson, Summer Lowe and Clarence Lowe; as well as great grandchildren Tyler Lowe, Asia Roberson, Eli Isaac Roberson, Isaac Allen Lowe, Sandra Lowe, Amara Lowe and Brendan Lowe. Lowe is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services for Isaac Lowe will be held at 10 a.m., Tues., Jan. 12, at the First Baptist Church, 1959 Eureka Way, Redding, CA 96001. A reception will follow the funeral. The services will be streamed live at http://livestre.am/5hk5y and may be watched on computers or smart phones.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Lowe’s memory to Shasta County Citizens Against Racism (SCCAR) – Isaac J. Lowe Scholarship Fund.

If you’re going

• The Tues. Jan. 12 funeral will be followed by a reception in the church fellowship hall. Church parking is limited. Shuttle service will be available from the Seventh Day Adventist Church on Eureka Way to the First Baptist church on Eureka Way. There is some overflow parking available on Willis Street (by Burger King) and West Street (by Chevron Gas); both a short walk to the church. There is also parking in the area behind the Subway Sandwich shop on Eureka Way.
A Community Celebration of Isaac Lowe’s life will be held on Sat. Jan. 23 at Sequoia Middle School Auditorium at 1803 Sequoia St. in Redding. The program begins at 2 p.m. The reception will be held in the school’s cafeteria at 3:30 p.m.
• Another ceremony to celebrate Isaac Lowe’s life, civil rights work and many community contributions, is planned at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Center at 1815 Sheridan St. in Redding at 11 a.m. on Jan. 18 — Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Those who wish to help cover expenses for the purchase and preparation of food for Isaac Lowe’s funeral reception may make checks payable to the “Second Baptist Church”, and mail contributions to the Second Baptist Church at 2650 Bunker Ave., Redding, Calif., 96002
Those who wish to help cover expenses for the purchase and preparation of food for Isaac Lowe’s Celebration of Life at Sequoia School may make checks payable to the Shasta County Multicultural Board, 1875 Sheridan St., Redding, Calif. 96001.

Doni Chamberlain

Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as anewscafe.com in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke. Chamberlain is an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, California.

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