DAYTON--Mary Lee Lowe, community leader, philanthropist, and supporter of women's issues, died peacefully at her home in Wayzata, MN on August 21, 2013. She was predeceased by her husband of fifty-four years, Wallace C. Dayton, who died in 2002. Born in Marshall, Missouri, on May 12, 1925, she was the daughter of Braddie Douglass Lowe and the Reverend Arnold Hilmer Lowe. She attended John Borroughs School in St. Louis, and graduated from Northrop Collegiate School in Minneapolis in 1943 and from Vassar College in 1946. Always active in community affairs, she held leadership positions in many organizations in the Twin Cities and elsewhere. She served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Macalester College, The Minneapolis Foundation, The Minneapolis YWCA, and Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, and was a founder of the Minnesota Women's Fund, now the Women's Foundation of Minnesota. She also served as a Board member of the Breck School, the Mississippi River Fund, the Ripley Memorial Foundation, the Sister Kenny Foundation, the Greater Twin Cities United Way, the University of Minnesota Arboretum Foundation, Vassar College, Westminster Presbyterian Church, and other organizations. In addition, after her husband's death, she remained committed to the environmental organizations that he had led and supported, including The Nature Conservancy and the National Audubon Society, and others. She is survived by her four daughters, Sally D. Clement (Stephen) of New York City, Katherine D. Nielsen (Stuart) and Ellen D. Grace, both of Minneapolis, and Elizabeth D. Dovydenas (Jonas) of Lenox, MA, and nine grandchildren: Theodore and Winston Clement; John and Elena Dovydenas; Olivia Nielsen; Samuel Richardson; and Matthew, Katherine, and Rosamond Sturgis. The family wishes to thank Becky Fredericks and her staff for their caring service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made in her name to any of the above organizations, or the
. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 7 at 3 pm at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1200 Marquette Avenue South, Minneapolis.
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Published in The New York Times on Aug. 23, 2013