“Memories, you see, last longer than anything else.” Margaret Sangster
Harvey Littlejohn Low
February 28,1922 – Spokane Washington ~ June 3, 2016 – Corvallis, Oregon
My younger sister, Lori and I collaborated to write a quality obituary of our father. It is long, just as his life was full and generous. I hope you take a quiet moment to reflect upon a life well-lived.
Harvey Littlejohn Low, of Corvallis Oregon, passed peacefully at Timberwood Court Memory Care in Albany, Oregon on June 3, 2016 after spending the day surrounded by his children and grandchildren. The son of George Sutherland Low and Jessie Fraser Harvey Low, Harvey was born February 28, 1922 in Spokane, Washington. He attended North Central High School where he “excelled in wood and metal shop, and had great fun participating in school plays and musicals.” There he met the love of his life, Agnes Margaret Twitchell (1924 -1996). They married in 1942.
A naturalist, sportsman, machinist, carpenter, gunsmith, farmer, educator, environmentalist and human rights advocate, Harvey’s twinkling eyes expressed intellect, quick wit and resolve. Always, he was a force to be reckoned with.
During WWII, Harvey served in the Army Marine Engineers in Europe, building the Mulberry Pontoons, and later in the Army Special Services Marine Maintenance Corps completing port reconstruction following Patton up the Rhine. After the war, Harvey returned to Spokane, his wife, and their toddler daughter, Diana Elizabeth (1944), where he pursued advanced studies in education at Eastern Washington College of Education (now EWU), and became the proud father of Michael Harvey (1947), and Lindy Louise (1949). The family moved to Newport, WA in 1950, where Harvey taught industrial arts at Newport High School, while continuing graduate studies at EWC. Harvey and Agnes moved the family to Wenatchee, Washington in 1955, where he served as Counseling Department Head/Dean of Students at Wenatchee High School for six years.
One of only thirty-two people selected from a nationwide pool of applicants, Harvey received a full-ride scholarship to attend Harvard University’s ‘Leadership in Education Summer Fellowship Seminar’ in 1960. He then set his sights on acquiring an EdD degree from Washington State College (now University) in Pullman, where the family next settled, and Lori Leanne was born (1963). His studies launched Harvey into a professorial position at WSU, where he taught educational counseling and administration until his retirement in 1985. One of Harvey’s proudest achievements during his tenure at WSU was establishing a High School Equivalency Program (HEP) on campus. The program provided children of migratory and seasonal farm workers an opportunity to obtain the equivalent of a high school diploma, and subsequently gain employment or begin post-secondary studies.
Throughout his life, Harvey was a forceful advocate for the disenfranchised, at a time when doing so was often disdained. By his courageous actions and words, Harvey provided a voice to the voiceless, a hand up to the discouraged, and instilled in his children a deep respect for the value of all people.
Harvey and Agnes purchased a home, out-buildings and forty acres of farm land, three miles south of Pullman. “As a kid farming with horse and plow, forty acres was as much as a man could do on his own!” Harvey said, when asked why such a small plot in the middle of many thousand-acre farms in the Palouse. He loved the many aspects of farming, and especially enjoyed his string of pack horses which he took elk and deer hunting with friends and family in the high Cascade and Blue Mountains. Upon retiring from WSU, Harvey and Agnes moved to Corvallis, Oregon, where he became an active member of the local Duck’s Unlimited Club, continued to support the educational pursuits of his family, and lived independently until late 2015.
Bundling the family into a pickup to immerse his children in the beauty and wonder of wilderness and national parks, was a priority for Harvey — something his father, George Sutherland Low, had given both Harvey and his brother, George. Fishing, hunting, exploring and honoring the natural world is a value that lives on in his clan. Like landing a mighty Rainbow Trout or making a clean shot of a bird, Harvey loved telling tales of the many adventures of his life and singing around a campfire with his family. This tradition will carry on, as the remaining Low clan make new adventures, and tell the tales, bringing Harvey’s grace and kind spirit forward into their shared future.
Harvey cherished his family. His most inviolable wish was that we remain strong and true to one another. In that spirit, we encourage all to look into the eyes of those you love and be grateful for the gifts they offer.
Harvey found renewal and sanctuary in nature. To fully honor his spirit, his clan urge you to take a moment this day to be in nature — to absorb its deep truth and lasting universality.
Harvey was preceeded in death by his parents, older brother George Sutherland Low, and wife, Agnes (Twitchell) Low. Surviving kin include his children: Diana Elizabeth Dunnington (Leslie), Michael Harvey Low (Carmen), Lindy Louise LeCoq (Creighton), Lori Leanne Soli (Scott); grandchildren: Lynn Elizabeth Faulkenberry (Todd Bybee), Marie Kathleen Dunnington, Meghan Sarah McArt, Molly Margaret McArt (David Marcus); and great-grandchildren: Andrew David Faulkenberry, Justin Robert Faulkenberry, and Micah Harvey Marcus. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The Sierra Club, Earth Justice, or Ducks Unlimited.
In a Vase on Monday: Cathy@Rambling in the Garden