Shirley Anne Lower – Wake Forest Obituary

Shirley Anne Lower

Feb 28, 1935 – Feb 20, 2017

Shirley Anne Lower, 81, of St. Petersburg, Florida, passed away on Monday, February 20, 2017 surrounded by family. She was born in Chicago, Illinois on February 28, 1935 to Antoinette and Carl Baumann, and was raised in Oak Park, Illinois. She was a beloved wife, sister, mother, mother-in-law, and grandmother who loved her family dearly.

As someone with a lifelong commitment to education and a passion for science, her children will be the first to say her favorite phrase was “Go look it up!” She graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1957 with a degree in Biology Education. She further pursued her science education with post-graduate studies at the University of Illinois and the University of Wisconsin. She always incorporated this love of learning and teaching in her professional and personal activities, with jobs ranging from teaching ESL children, children with developmental disabilities, and preschoolers to sharing her love of science with her grandchildren. But she wasn’t just a lifelong learner, she was also a lifelong yearner, always seeking more knowledge of any and all subjects. In addition, she was a research assistant at Purdue University in their department of genetics, followed by a similar position at the University of Illinois. Mrs. Lower was also fortunate to be able to expand upon her love of science when she joined her husband on his many international career assignments, spanning numerous countries across four continents. She also enjoyed teaching CCD education at several Catholic parishes.

One of her favorite pastimes was her role as a guide at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum, where she could share her love of nature with others. In addition, she was an accomplished musician and she was a piccolo player and flutist with the Madison Community Orchestra for several years. Her love of music also carried through to her joy of ballroom dancing.

She utilized her botanical skills and wisdom to solidify efforts by the Crescent Lake Association in Rhinelander, Wisconsin to free the lake and shoreline of invasive plant species – something she was very passionate about.
She enjoyed her retired years as a snowbird, spending her summers at Crescent Lake and her winters in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Mrs. Lower is survived by her husband of 60 years, Richard Lawrence Lower; four children, Cynthia Braasch of Watertown, WI; Michael (Lynn) of Blue Bell, PA; Richard (Lisa) of Apex, NC: and Mitchell (Kent) of Wake Forest, NC; eight grandchildren (Rachel, Matt, Ryan, Trey, Jackson, Alec, Grace, and Anderson); and one brother (C. Bill Baumann) and several brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her mother and father.
Funeral services will be held 11:00 AM Friday, February 24, 2017 at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 2718 Overbrook Drive, Raleigh, NC.

Donations may also be made in the name of Shirley Anne Lower to the University of Wisconsin Arboretum Land Stewardship Fund. Donations can be made online at When using this online form, please select the fifth box to enter Mrs. Lower’s name. Alternatively, donations can be made by mailing a check (made payable to the UW-Madison Arboretum) directly to: UW-Madison Arboretum, Attn: Mark Wegener, 1207 Seminole Hwy, Madison, WI 53711. Please include complete contact information and a description of your gift (Land Stewardship Fund), including intent of giving in the name of Shirley Anne Lower.

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