J. Bradley ‘Brad’ Lowell, 1938-2023

Dec 1, 2023


J. Bradley “Brad” Lowell died September 1, 2023, at his home in Concordia, Kansas.

He was born January 26, 1938, to Arthur V. and Gladys Katherine (nee Bradley) Lowell at St. Joseph Hospital, now Manna House, in Concordia.

His mother died in childbirth, and for the next several months, the Sisters of St. Joseph cared for him in the hospital nursery.

His father married Elsie Ulrich in January of 1940, and she joined in raising him and became his mother.

He graduated from Concordia High school in 1956 and Montana State University in 1960.

In November of 1960, he began active military duty, serving as a signal corps officer at Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey, and with the V Corps Artillery Headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany.

In January of 1963, he began a career in journalism at the Concordia Blade-Empire. To further his career, he enrolled in graduate school at The University of Kansas and later in the fall of 1964 at Kansas State University. While attending K-State, he served as assistant editor of the Kansas 4-H Journal and was a member of Sigma Delta Chi, a professional journalistic society.

After completing his graduate hours, he became editor of the Gardner News and Spring Hill New Era in Johnson County.

In June of 1967, Lowell returned to the Blade-Empire, serving as a reporter, advertising salesman and photographer. When his father retired in 1978, he assumed the position of editor and publisher.

He married Inalee “Lee” LaPert Nixon on March 7, 1983, and she survives him of the home. He is also survived by sons: Jay (Ann) Lowell, Concordia, and grandchildren, Rans (Allegra) Lowell, Overland Park, Kansas; Leah (Michael) Loring, Concordia; Jim (Lori) Lowell, Concordia, and grandchildren, Devin (Lauren) Lowell, New Orleans, Louisiana, Cassie Auxier, Olathe; daughter, Melissa (Brian) Wilson, Gardner and grandchildren, Justin (Celia) Crum, Garnett, Alyssa (Jay) Warren, Gardner, Kansas, Torey (Tera) Taylor, Shawnee, Kansas, and step-granddaughter, Kimberly Baldwin-Wilson, Ottawa, Kansas.

He shared with Lee and is survived by sons: James (Lisa) Nixon, Leawood, Kansas, and granddaughter Shannon Nixon, Olathe, Kansas; Tom (Karen) Nixon, Overland Park; Rob (Regina) Nixon, Wamego; step-grandsons, Aaron (Jennifer) Bingham, Atwater, California, Adam Bingham, Wamego, Kansas; sister-in-law, Ilomae LaPert, Arleta, California.

He enjoyed great-grandchildren Carter, Lily, Foster, Abram and Lena Warren; Everlee and Charlie Crum; Adeline and Archer Lowell; Ensley and Emerson Loring; Charlotte Lowell; four step-great-grandchildren, August and Molly Bingham; Ryner Hillis and Attley Baldwin; special nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and numerous cousins.

Brad also shared with Lee the rewarding experience of serving as host parents of Cloud County Community College students for more than 30 years. Many of those students have kept in contact through the years and are considered the children that the couple never had together. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Among his proudest accomplishments were awards received for reporting and editorial writing from the Kansas Press Association and being a member the only undefeated football team at CHS in 1955.

His public life included serving on the steering committee that was responsible for the founding of Cloud County Community College. He was also recognized by KNEA for his efforts in supporting a bond issue to fund the construction of the Concordia Elementary School. His contributions to community education also included teaching a journalism class at CCCC for several semesters. Professionally, he was a member of the Concordia and Gardner Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the CCCC Foundation Board of Directors, the Duclos Charitable Trust Advisory Board, the 12th Judicial District Nominating Committee, the Kansas Press Association Board of Directors and a member of the American Legion Post 76.

He was also a member of the 1956 Montana State football team, which was inducted into the Montana State Athletic Hall of Fame, as well as the Rocky Mountain Conference Athletic Conference Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Cloud County Community College Hall of Fame in 2009.

Brad requested direct cremation. A celebration of life was held at Chaput-Buoy Funeral Home on Saturday, Sept. 16, and a private family inurnment at Pleasant Hill Cemetery at a later date. Fr. Barry Brinkman led a vigil service, followed by visitation with family on the evening of Sept. 15.

Suggested memorials are to the Montana State 12th Man Fund, the CCCC Foundation Scholarship Fund or the Concordia Sisters of St. Joseph.