LOVING LEGACY: Erin Lowder remembered for her loving, joyful spirit


Erin Lowder

GREENFIELD — Erin Lowder spent the last day of her life doing what she loved — spending the day on the water with family.

She and her sister — Kathy Hall, with whom she ran Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices realty group in Fortville and Greenfield — had spent the day boating with their brother and sister-in-law on Geist Reservoir before Lowder experienced a medical episode and drove her car off the road on her way home to McCordsville.

Hall, who was driving about three minutes behind her sister, was the one to find her car alongside the road that day, Sunday, May 21.

Despite efforts to save her after being flown to Methodist Hospital, Lowder passed away Tuesday, May 23.

Loved ones say she leaves behind a legacy of optimism and joy.

“She loved the water and she loved being on a boat. When we were on my brother’s boat that day she wanted to go skiing, but my brother didn’t have any skis. She was so happy, she was like a 12 year old again,” Hall recalled.

Erin was born in Greenfield in 1960 and graduated from Greenfield-Central High School in 1978. Soon after graduation, she married the “love of her life,” Jerry Lowder, with whom she had two kids.

Lowder spent 25 years driving a bus for the Mt. Vernon Schools, which her children attended.

It was while working as a bus driver that she earned her Realtor’s license, leading to a successful 30-year career in real estate.

She and her sister took over the real estate office started by their mother, Anne Elsbury, who was a Realtor for 50 years.

“Erin was a terrific boss and brought so much laughter to the office,” said secretary Rita Rouse, one of the many employees to build relationships with Lowder over the years.

Hall quickly noticed that Lowder’s sunny disposition made her an amazing Realtor.

“She always seemed to get the clients who had the most challenges, I think because of her patience with them,” said Hall.

“She was always the person to get things done. That’s who my sister was. She was a doer and such a hard worker.”

Hall said Lowder’s mantra was always, ‘I’m on my way!,’ “because we all knew she was running off somewhere to help somebody with something. It’s just who she was,” she said.

Even after becoming a full-time Realtor, Lowder often took on substitute bus driving shifts when Mt. Vernon needed help, despite her busy schedule.

“She’d always say, ‘I know I shouldn’t, but I’ll go in and do it.’ That’s just who my sister was,” Hall said.

She said she and her sister enjoyed an idyllic childhood growing up on the family farm, an experience Lowder would build on later in life while working on her own family’s homestead, D & J Lowder Farms in McCordsville.

Hall considers it a blessing that she was the one to find her sister alongside that road that terrible day, rather than one of Lowder’s children or grandchildren, who were busy with other family activities.

“All of her kids were out of town that day, which I think was God’s plan. If there’s going to be a tragedy, I think everything lined up the way it was supposed to,” she said.

The family has found solace in little signs since Lowder’s passing, like the random appearance of dimes.

“When my sister-in-law Lori’s grandfather passed, they would be walking and a dime would randomly appear on the street or sidewalk, so they said that meant Grandpa’s thinking of you. It continued when she lost her brother-in-law,” Hall said.

The night Lowder passed away her family members went to their favorite Mexican restaurant to remember her, and Hall’s sister-in-law spotted a dime in the parking lot. Other friends and family members have also been finding dimes in random places.

“We’ve had 12 or 13 episodes of this the last week. She’s showing us in little ways that she’s still with us, and that her legacy lives on with us and her kids and grandkids,” said Hall.

Lowder’s biggest legacy is the love and quality time she showered upon her family throughout her life, her sister said.

“Even though she was only 63, she could have lived 100 years with the amount of time she spent with her kids and grandkids. She got so much out of her time with them,” said Hall.

“She always knew she wanted to be a wife and mom and grandma from the time she was a kid, and she was so present with them, which is a gift they’ll have forever. I think that’s what her legacy is.”

Her spirit will also live on within the organ recipients who benefited from Lowder being an organ donor.

“She always was so kind to everybody, and this was her last gift,” said Hall, who was present for the hospital’s “honor walk” when her sister’s body was wheeled on a gurney down the hallways lined with doctors and nurses paying their respects.

“It was just heart wrenching, but it’s exactly what she would have wanted,” said Hall. “My sister was the strongest person I know.”