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Tribute to Ralph Lowe


Memorial Service Set for Ralph Lowe


Ralph Lowe, longtime beloved English teacher at Dunn School, died on June 9, 2017 in Santa Barbara, California in the arms of his very beloved Georgene. He did not suffer too much as cancer took him on his final journey, and the collision with that “rough Mountain, death.”


There will be a celebration of Ralph Lowe’s remarkable life, August 12, 2017, at 2-4pm at The Dunn School in Los Olivos, California.

“With cancer there is always something.” Ralph was born in Salt Lake City, May 5th or 6th (a dispute between his mother and the State of Utah), 1951 the third of four sons of Waynard W. Lowe, MD and Jean Flint Lowe and grew up in the “fragrant humidor” that was Orange County, California.


Ralph lived a vigorous life filled with adventure and on his own terms. His unique presence in the world was reassuring to many who knew and loved him. His wise, literate and ironic voice will remain with us. He loved Georgene and Alexandria [THE Bun] with all of his being. Next, he loved words, books and traveling on “the dark wine sea”.


He could become restless and a little irritable when he was not traveling to a faraway place with a strange sounding name.


Ralph graduated from The Dunn School, Los Olivos, California in 1971 and started his journey and life of adventures, hitchhiking and hopping freight trains with Tim, fellow traveler, confidant and sounding board, searching a good story and adventure. Inspired by his brother Russ, who was the captain of a reef netting salmon fishing boat in the San Juan Islands, he was lured to fish with him. His reluctant career as a college student took him from Utah to Oregon back to Utah and then to Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Throughout his life Ralph and Georgene lived, worked and wandered away to Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, the Tawawa Refugee Camp in Eastern Sudan, most of Europe, always Greece which he called “my adopted country”, India, the Middle East, Portugal, Cyprus, Nairobi Kenya, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria (Canary Islands, Spain), Turkey, Thailand, Australia and Singapore. He always went back to Mexico and his beloved brother Steven and sister in law Brenda’s home in San Miguel de Allende.


Ralph taught, nourished and mentored his students in Vershire, Vermont, Alexandria, Egypt, Beirut, Lebanon, Gran Canaria, Spain and The Dunn School, Los Olivos, California for nearly 40 years writing that “teaching is a sacred endeavor”. Over more than 35 years his Galatea Project took students to Greece and Turkey in search of mystical tales, Heroes and useful knowledge, changing lives and inspiring thought and adventure.


Ralph was opinionated, humorous, stubborn and at times a hedonist. He married people and savored the experience. Ralph was absolutely curious, captivated by cultures and history. He wrote that “all good bars are on corners” and recently opined that “it is too late to be good”.


Ralph did not care for fluffy words or trailing adjectives. Thoroughly unique and unconventional, he had his own style which was sometimes a little snobbish but never pretentious. He wrote poetry and prose, immersed himself in Shakespeare and was thrilled by “the good story well told”. He preferred ‘cheap red wine on ice”. Ralph always thought he lived just the life he wanted. He never expressed a regret.


“Be appy with what you ave” [age 3]. Ralph is survived by all of us.


After retirement from Dunn, Ralph and his wife Georgene moved to Santa Barbara, where he wrote occasional essays for the Santa Barbara Independent. His final piece, published the week before his death, is entitled "Wine on Ice, Pt. 4." (Parts 1, 2 and 3 are also online). 


The family asks, in lieu of flowers, that memorial gifts be made to:


     •  Prader-Willi California Foundation, in memory of Ralph Lowe and in honor of Alexandria Lowe.

     •  Dunn School, in memory of Ralph Lowe. 



Ralph’s last column for the Santa Barbara Independent:






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