Community Foundation of St. Joseph County

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Tom Lower

A Man Who Was Committed to His Community

Tom Lower

Always ready with a smile and a few kind words, Tom Lower knew just about everyone in our community—and everyone who knew Tom liked him. 

A South Bend native, Tom held degrees from Indiana University and the University of Wisconsin, and was proud of his service in the US Marine Corps. He approached his career as a financial advisor with exceptional professionalism and commitment. Locally, Tom worked as a Trust Officer at First National Bank of Mishawaka, and, later, as Senior Vice President of Wells Fargo. After retiring in 2010, he gave even more attention to family and community service. In 2012, he and his beloved wife Cathy celebrated their 50th anniversary.  

Tom was a paragon of civic engagement and service: When he got involved with anything, he jumped in with both feet. It was only a matter of time before he progressed into leadership roles, serving as president of organizations such as the South Bend Rotary, the Juvenile Justice Center, the Estate Counselors Forum, and South Bend Civic Theatre. A devout Catholic whose faith was central to his life, Tom was an active member of St. Pius parish who loved singing in the choir with Cathy. Back in 1991, he was one of a small group of visionaries who understood the tremendous benefits of creating a permanent charitable endowment to improve life in St. Joseph County: Tom was a founding board member of the Community Foundation and did much to encourage others to give their time, talent, and treasure through his outstanding example. 

South Bend Civic Theatre was particularly close to his heart. When Tom died unexpectedly in late May of this year, he was leading SBCT’s campaign to match the challenge grant created by the Community Foundation, the James and Marjorie Wilson family, Barbara Warner, and Anne Hillman for the Jim Coppens South Bend Civic Theatre Fund [see story on p. 3]. He and Cathy seldom missed an SBCT show, and they always brought friends in order to introduce as many people as possible to the theater that they loved. 

Many of us remember Tom’s positive, “can-do” attitude, his encouraging words, and his unfailing optimism. He will be missed, but his impact lives on.