Published in The Washington Post on Oct. 29, 2017
AUSTIN LOWERY III
LOWREY AUSTIN LOWREY, III Passed away Friday,
September 29, 2017, from complications of diabetes.
An Army "brat", Austin was born October 19, 1933,
in the Panama Canal Zone. He graduated from
Coolidge High School (1951) in Washington, DC,
and received his BS, 1955, and MS, 1956, degrees
in physics at the University of Hawaii. While he
worked toward his Ph.D. in Theoretical Nuclear Physics at MIT, The Army
approached Austin to become active duty under Project 200, a program designed to
recruit 200 scientists in response to the Soviet launch of Sputnik.
After graduation, Austin's military career included nuclear reactors, underground
testing of weaponry, and electro-magnetic pulse research. From 1970 to 1973 he
taught Physics at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, NY. He supported the
Poseidon and Pershing programs and Strategic Defense Initiative, a.k.a. "Star
Wars". He served as Commander, Harry Diamond Laboratories. During his career,
Austin received the Army Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service
Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, and the Meritorious Service medal.
After 28 years active duty, Austin retired in November, 1982, with the rank of Colonel.
He then worked for Kaman Corporation and Booz-Allen & Hamilton and consulted for
other companies. Austin was active in the Springfield, VA, community, participating in
Springfield Community Theater, working on committees to build the Springfield
Bypass, and serving as lay reader, usher and Vestry member of Saint Christopher's
Episcopal Church. He also served as a Cub Scout Pac 686 Den Dad for two of his
sons and later coordinated activities for a Senior Scout troop through the Army
Nuclear and Chemical Agency.
He held memberships in Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi as well as the Fairfax Elks
Club and the Cosmos Club, Washington, DC.
Austin is survived by his wife of 48 years, Elizabeth "Betsy" Brown Lowrey; sons John
Andrew, Geoffrey Austin and Vanhsai Robert; and daughters Amanda Renee and
Taylor Ritheavy; five granddaughters and three grandsons; and his sister Carolyn
Jeanne Matthews of Encinitas, CA.
A Celebration of Life will be held at St. Christopher's Episcopal Church, 6320
Hanover Ave., Springfield, VA, on November 12, 2017, at 2 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests any memorial offerings be given to the St.
Christopher's Episcopal Church Building Fund or your preferred charity.