Roy & Beth

donor stories

Roy and Beth Lowry grew up together in the youth group at First Church of the Nazarene, San Jose. They dated for the first time as teenagers, on a double-date in San Francisco’s Chinatown on New Year’s Eve. When Roy was drafted in 1941 during World War II, he and Beth began writing to each other. Barely a year later, they married and settled in Paso Robles where Roy was stationed.

Roy had once owned a cabinet shop, but sold it when he was drafted. When he was discharged in 1945, he went back to school to get his contractor’s license to become an individual builder, and shortly thereafter went to work with an interior decorator.

Beth worked for Pacific Telephone Company for 40 years, first as a representative. She moved up the ranks until she took a position where she traveled and helped clients design phone systems for their businesses.

While they thrived in their careers, Beth and Roy discovered 20 years later that they could not have children. Although the announcement was devastating, Beth recalls, “We were always busy helping with children.” Roy’s sister, Laura Mae Douglas, and her children lived across the driveway from Roy and Beth, both families living side by side.

Roy and Beth built a beautiful life for themselves. Even though they lived in the same house for 53 years, it would seem they weren’t in it very much. Roy and Beth truly had a heart for God’s work abroad – they gave time and resources to many outreach ministries, including the Christian Missionary Alliance, Summer Institute of Linguistics, Inc. (SIL), and Wycliffe Bible Translators, with which they would often travel to minister and build facilities for ministry.

Their love for missions work also extended to the work of Roy’s sister, Laura Mae, who had started the nursing program at Pasadena College in 1971. She was fulfilling a call to missions in a very different way, teaching and training young nurses to practice locally and abroad.

Roy and Beth wanted to honor the impact of Laura Mae, but above all they wanted to provide a way for nursing students to be equipped for the mission field. The Laura Mae Douglas Visiting Missionary Nursing Professorship and the Student Missionary Nurse Experience will be created by a bequest-funded endowment from Roy and Beth. The endowment will provide the means for a missionary nurse to serve as a visiting professor in the School of Nursing and for students to spend a semester in the mission field to see if they might want to become nurse missionaries. 

Roy passed away in 1999, and Beth continues to desire a legacy of missions to carry on. “We want our money to be used for the Lord,” she said.