Obituary of Shirley Ann Lowman
Dr. Shirley Feldkamp Lowman, 80, of Nashville TN, passed away peacefully on March 21st due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease.
Shirley was born in Louisville, KY and was the oldest daughter of William and Dorothy Feldkamp. Shirley also lived in Frankfort, KY, Iron Mountain, MI, and has been a resident of Nashville since 1975.
When Shirley was young, she loved to roller skate and buy ice cold A & W root beers in frosty mugs at the corner drug store. She often used her 25 cent allowance to buy movie magazines so she could write to the stars for an autographed photo, and she read every book in the children’s section of her local library. As she got older, she earned an academic scholarship to Sacred Heart High School, played volleyball, and won two 1st place trophies in her competitive bowling league.
Many families of her generation assumed that young women would not need to go to college because they would get married, but Shirley had always wanted to be a nurse. So, she earned another academic scholarship to Spalding University in Louisville, where she realized that dream. She was a nurse at many hospitals over her lifetime, including St. Thomas Hospital and Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville, providing expert and loving nursing to her patients. She was kind and compassionate, she listened, calmed fears, and truly cared about patients as people first.
After college, she married Douglas P. Lowman. They had three children – Lisa, Mark, and Laura, whom she loved very much and was very proud of.
Shirley was a lady of great faith, determination, and fortitude. Throughout her life she continually coped with unexpected changes with dignity and grace, often worked double shifts and night shifts to support her children and herself. At the same time, she went on to earn a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. She became a Professor of Nursing at Western Kentucky University and taught there until she retired. She also volunteered her nursing experience with the American Cancer Society, Red Cross Bloodmobile, community outreach nursing, the Planning and Research committee of the Tennessee Nurses Association conferences, and was on the editorial board of The Tennessee Nurse.
She was a member of Christ the King Catholic Church, and then St. Henry Catholic Church, serving as a Eucharistic minister for many years. She was also an active volunteer through the church with Habitat for Humanity, Room at the Inn Program for the Homeless, the Refugee Resettlement program, and WPLN Talking Library for the blind.
Shirley was an accomplished seamstress. She loved children, traveling the globe, reading, gardening, nature, and music. She also loved animals, and put up with many (both sweet and neurotic) that her children brought home through the years.
Shirley was an optimistic, joyful, and gracious lady, as well as a loving and supportive mother, sister, daughter, and friend. She always had a positive outlook and weathered many challenges in her life with great integrity and her strong faith in God. She will be greatly missed, and we are extraordinarily grateful for her time on this earth.
Shirley is survived by her three children, Lisa Lowman Herndon, Mark Lowman, and Laura Lowman Murray; her sister, Sharon Feldkamp, and brother William Feldkamp; and seven grandchildren – Ryan, Conor, Sydney, Kyle, Caitlyn, Bridget, and Maggie.
Visitation: Monday, March 25, 9:00-11:00 am at St. Henry Catholic Church, 6401 Harding Pike, Nashville, TN 37205.
Funeral Mass: Monday, March 25, 11:00 am at St. Henry Catholic Church, 6401 Harding Pike, Nashville, TN 37205.
In lieu of flowers, Shirley’s family asks that donations be made in her name to the Alzheimer’s Association.