Tom Lowe

Tom Lowe, Fulton County’s longest serving county commission, has died, according to the county. Lowe represented north Fulton for four decades before his retirement last year. He was 86.

County Commission Chairman John Eaves issued this statement Friday morning: “It is with great regret that I learned of the passing of my friend and former colleague Tom Lowe at the age of 86. Tom was the longest serving commissioner in the history of this county, representing the people of north Fulton for four decades.”

Lowe first was elected to the Board of Commissioners in 1974 and retired on Dec. 31, 2014, after serving the citizens of Fulton County for 40 years, the county said.

Lowe was known among his colleagues and staff for his vast institutional knowledge and his sense of humor.  He was a staunch supporter of Grady Hospital and consistently advocated for Grady funding.  He served on the Fulton County Recreation Authority, the Atlanta-Fulton County Water Resources Commission, and the Fulton County Pension Board, the county statement said.

A world-class skeet shooter and member of the National Skeet Shooting Association All-American Team, Senior Division,  Lowe was instrumental in the development of the County’s Wolf Creek Skeet and Trap Range, which was the site of the 1996 Olympic shooting competition, according to the county.  The Tom Lowe Shooting Grounds was named in his honor.

After graduating from Auburn University with a degree in civil engineering, Lowe worked in heavy construction of highways, railroads and earth-filled dams.  In 1957, he organized Lowe Engineers Inc., which is still involved in the planning, design and supervision of construction of civil engineering projects throughout the southeast.  After retiring from his company, Commissioner Lowe developed commercial and industrial properties in metro Atlanta.

“Even beyond the community he served.” Eaves said, “he believed in this county and its people. That belief was why he insisted on attending every regular meeting, more than 400 in all, regardless of his own physical condition on any given meeting day. … Despite all that he achieved in public life, Tom was proudest of his family. On the occasion of his retirement from public service last year, Tom told the board that he made that difficult decision to spend more time with his family. It is for that reason; that I especially want to send my personal condolences and prayers to Tom’s wife Bettye, their children, and grandchildren.”

U.S. Tom Price (R-Roswell) also issued a statement. “Tom Lowe was a trailblazer and leader in Fulton County and Republican politics for decades,” Price said. We all stand on the shoulders of those who preceded on our work. All of us have benefited by Tom’s labor and guide.”

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.