As a kid, typically when someone from an older generation dies, you don’t have many attachments to them (family notwithstanding), but there are rare occasions when you develop a working relationship with someone. Such was the case with Jan Lowrey, a man who grew up with my dad and eventually worked for him at Sagara Farms.
I spent several summers as a teenager working with Jan. He and I did much of the surveying for the laser leveling portion of the business, which meant spending a lot of 12 hours days in a pickup truck, plotting huge 30-100 acre fields. One thing I took from him was that it’s okay to have your own opinion of the world, no matter how isolated you may be. He held a degree in English, and he was a Democrat living in rural Yolo County, an uncommon set of characteristics for those parts, yet he never wavered. I remember the mocking he received for supporting Clinton, yet he firmly stood behind his beliefs.
Probably the nicest thing he did was put up with me, the B.K. I’m pretty sure I exhibited a certain sense of entitlement, and in all honesty I didn’t know the first thing about farming, yet he was always pleasant, patient, and he had an easy going sense of humor.
Tragically, I must say goodbye to my friend Jan, who left this world today. Losing someone is never easy, but it is especially difficult when that person was a role model.
My thoughts go out to the Lowrey family. Rest in peace, Jan.