Steven Mallory Lowell (1949 - 2012)

  • "Chris, I just found an envelope that hd your address on..."
    - Marilyn Hall
  • "Thank you all for you kind words and fond memories of my..."
    - Christy Lowell
  • "Yesterday, I was handed a book, The End of Illness,..."
    - Dr. Dave Patterson
  • "Rest in peace Steve."
    - Ventura Samaniego
  • "Dear John and Naomi, Jim and Suzi, Chris and daughters,..."
    - brita rice


Steven Mallory Lowell, age 62, of Olympia, Washington passed away after a valiant struggle with cancer on June 30, 2012. Steve made his transition in Fairbanks, Alaska with the company and support of his three beautiful daughters and his wife Chris whom he described as his soul mate. Steve was born in Juneau on August 19, 1949, a third generation Alaskan. Steve's family arranged for him to enjoy his final earthly days at a home in the Alaskan wilderness, near Denali National Park.

In 1973, Steve earned his geology degree from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. He went to work for the Alaska Department of Transportation. His early career included mapping in the Denali region and designing roads and rock slopes for the development of the Alaska pipeline and highway system. Steve served this agency for 11years. During this time he fell in love with a girl from the Midwest who had moved to Alaska to start her career. Steve and Chris' relationship prospered into a 33 year marriage.

In 1985, Steve and Chris moved to Olympia when Steve accepted the position of Chief Engineering Geologist for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT); he served in this position for 26 years. Steve was highly regarded by his peers for his expertise in rock slope engineering, rock fall control, and landslide mitigation. He authored numerous industry reports, was a presenter at technical symposiums, and served on many expert panels. Through his leadership WSDOT implemented new technologies and methods that reduced costs and enhanced highway safety. Steve developed WSDOT's Unstable Slope Management System, for which he received the Hewes Award in 1996, bestowed by the western states transportation agencies for the program's efficiencies and innovation.
While modest about his professional stature, Steve was openly proud of his family's accomplishments.

Through the years Steve enjoyed sharing Alaska adventure stories of bears, fishing, and hunting with his girls and teaching them skills such as skiing. He placed a high priority on attending his daughters' academic and sporting events. He encouraged them to be strong, independent women in the pattern of their mother. Steve took great pride in his wife's professional achievements.

At home and for family events Steve was known as "the cook." Everyone looked forward to his barbeque. He favored county and western music, especially the music of George Strait. Steve enjoyed reading history books and mysteries. In recent years he relished the trips he and Chris shared together.

On July 4, 2012, Steve's family released his ashes on an Alaska mountaintop adorned with a wooden cross crafted by his son-in-law and grandson.

Steve is survived by his wife Christine "Chris" of Olympia; daughters Stephanie (Joel) Reeder of Clarksville, Tennessee, Christina "Christy" Pohl Lowell and Mallory Ann Lowell both of Olympia and his brother Jim (Suzi) Lowell of Juneau and grandchildren Austin Thomas and twins Owen Steven and Natalie Marie Reeder from Clarksville. Steve is survived by his parents John and Naomi Lowell of Lacey, Washington. Steve will also be remembered by his sister-in-laws and their husbands from Ames, Iowa, Pat (Russ) Long and Susan (Steve) Trevillyan along with numerous nieces and nephews. He will be missed by his loyal dog friends, Ellis and Hazy.

In lieu of flowers the family requests contributions notated for the memory of Steve Lowell to the University of Alaska-Fairbanks in care of the Development Office, PO Box 757530, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7530, or visit to make an online remembrance.
Steve's memorial service will be Monday, July 23, 2012, 11:30AM at Grace Community Covenant Church, 5501 Wiggins Road SE (intersection of Wiggins and Yelm Highway), Olympia, WA 98501

Published in The Juneau Empire on July 22, 2012
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