You already know why you are reading this. I died. I went reluctantly, but prepared. I lived almost 82 years and I enjoyed them all. I left with nothing remaining on my to-do list, something i would wish for everyone. I had a lot of fun, thanks to my family, friends and the many people I met along the way.
I grew up at Eagle Lake and went to Edwardsburg Schools. The lake was a great place for a kid. I loved it.
I was fortunate to get hooked on auto racing while I was very young and that led me to journalism where I found my second great passion. Once you get racing in your blood, it is there forever. The same thing happens with printer’s ink.
When I left Edwardsburg High School as a proud member of the class of 1957, I had no hint of the adventures that awaited me. I joined the U.S. Air Force and a year later I was overseas on Okinawa doing an exciting job with the Security Service as a Morse code intercept operator. After 21 months there I spent another 16 months in Karamursel, Turkey. I remembered my dots and dashes to the end.
Once I left the Air Force I spent the next five years with Associates Investments as an IBM machine operator, but I also kept hanging around race tracks. A couple years of go-kart racing convinced me that my future was not in the driver’s seat of a race car. Friendships made during those days led to change to become a member of an Indy car team. I was listed as a mechanic. In reality, I did all the stuff that the real mechanics didn’t want to do. Our driver, Bill Cheesbourg, qualified late in the last day and was the slowest in the field, but that didn’t matter. We were in the race.
That experience fueled the fire to find a way to be a part of the Indy 500 every year. That eventually led me to the newspaper business in 1967 and the Plymouth Pilot-News, where I spent nine exciting years learning the journalism business. I was the sports editor, police beat reporter, part-time photographer and fill-in editor. I loved it all. There was one goal that I pursued for a few years and finally reached it in 1976 when I was hired by the South Bend Tribune. I spent 25 years with the Tribune where I started as a copy editor, eventually moved up to other editorial posts. I also got to cover the 500 every year.
In 2013, my love of the 500 led me to a ride in a two-seater Indy car for three laps at 180-miles-an-hour (at least that’s what they advertised).
I spent more than 34 years as a full-time journalist and loved going to work every day. The steps I climbed every day to the second-floor newsroom at The Tribune took me to a very special place.
Being in journalism offered me chances to meet athletes, politicians, business people and other journalists.
I have been a member of the South Bend Press Club for more than 40 years. The yearly Gridiron Show was my social event of each year. The many months of preparation for each show meant I had many chances to have another party. Those committee meetings often had uproarious conclusions. Somehow, the work got done.
When I was discharged from the Air Force and returned home, I went to the last Notre Dame home game of 1961. The Irish beat Syracuse 17-15 on a field goal with no time on the clock. I was hooked. I held season tickets for 44 years.
I was born on Oct. 5, 1939, in Elmhurst, IL to Arthur B. and Lucille (Bunch) Lowe, both deceased. I was also preceded in death by a brother, Donald.
On May 7, 1966, I married Jeri Melville. The marriage was dissolved March 30, 1978. She is the mother of my children.
On Aug. 23, 1987, I fortunately married Ella Susan (Sue) Morris, a fellow journalist and artist, who survives. She was my wife, friend and caregiver. Without her my life would have never been this good. I am also survived by three great children, Kevin A. Lowe, the master craftsman, (Leticia) of Elkhart; Sara J. Lowe, the educator, of South Bend; and Steven E. Lowe, the entrepreneur, (Michele) of South Bend. Also surviving are nine grandchildren, Nathanael (Mady) Lusk, Cassidy Lusk, Alexander Lowe, Isaac Lowe, Benjamin Robinson, Lucas Robinson, Shawn Lowe, Contessa Lowe and Zack Lowe; and a great-granddaughter. A brother, James (Connie) of Bradenton, FL, also survives.
I also leave behind a special friend, Ed Ballotts, with whom I shared many adventures, parties and laughs.
Thank you to everyone who made my life fun and exciting. I have made my final deadline. Now, it’s time to say goodbye.
Harold passed away on Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021, at Dujarie House at Holy Cross Village at Notre Dame IN. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, September 28, 2021 at Palmer Funeral Homes-Welsheimer North, 17033 Cleveland Road, South Bend. Memorial services will be 4 p.m. on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 at the Cathedral of St. James, 117 N Lafayette Blvd #1507, South Bend, IN, where visitation will begin at 3 p.m. Masks will be required when indoors at the Cathedral of St. James.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Frantz L. Dantzler Friends for Life Fund, Unity Gardens or the Food Bank of Northern Indiana. Online condolences may be left with the family at www.palmerfuneralhomes.com
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PO Box 10022, South Bend IN 46680
Food Bank of Northern Indiana
702 Chapin Street, South Bend IN 46601
Frantz L. Dantzler Friends for Life Fund