The Rev. Lori Marleen Lowe, SSAP, who nurtured clerical vocations among young adults and founded a religious order for older women, died April 25 at 75.
Lowe was a native of Atlanta, and a graduate of Georgia State College and Candler Divinity School. She was ordained in 1986, and served as an assistant and interim rector at four parishes in greater Atlanta and western Georgia before becoming rector of St. Mark’s Church in LaGrange, Georgia, where she remained for 14 years. She later served parishes in the dioceses of Maryland and Chicago, and was rector of Grace Church, Sterling, Illinois, at the time of her death.
She directed the Diocese of Atlanta’s Discerning Young Vocations Experience program for many years and stayed in touch with graduates who served as priests.
In 2005, she was among the founders of the Society of St. Anna the Prophet, a religious order for women over the age of 50 devoted to elder care, pastoral outreach, worship, and service. Members of the order were present and offered prayers and support to the family during her last hours at Emory Hospital Center.
Lowe is survived by her husband, the Rev. William McLemore, six children and stepchildren, and 11 grandchildren and step-grandchildren.
The Rev. Canon Peter LeValley Spencer, who led St. Paul’s Church, Wickford, Rhode Island, to major growth in a 31-year ministry, died April 7 at 83.
He was a native of West Warwick, Rhode Island, growing up near his family homestead, built by his ancestors in 1722. He studied chemistry and religion at Brown University, and then served as a naval officer on active duty for two years before preparing for ministry at General Seminary.
After his ordination, he became curate of St. Paul’s, Pawtucket, Rhode Island, before moving to Wickford in 1967. He became rector in 1971, and worked to develop a “community that is not dependent on clergy.” Over his decades of ministry (the longest tenure in St. Paul’s 315-year history), the congregation doubled in size, and developed a deep focus on ecumenical cooperation and service to the needy. In retirement, he assisted in parishes across Rhode Island.
He loved hiking and tending his garden and vineyard, always with a loyal black dog at his side. Spencer is survived by Eugenia, his wife of 61 years, four children, and four grandchildren.
The Rev. Thomas H. Troeger, a hymn writer and professor of homiletics and church music, died April 3 at 77.
Troeger grew up in New Jersey and upstate New York, and after study at Yale and Colgate Rochester Divinity School, he was ordained to the ministry of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and served a congregation in New Hartford, New York, for seven years. He was ordained to the ministry of the Episcopal Church in 1999, while retaining his ministerial status in the PCUSA.
In 1977, he became a professor of preaching and pastoral ministry at Colgate Rochester Divinity School. He later served for 14 years as a preaching professor and dean of academic affairs at Iliff School of Theology. His final 10 years of teaching were spent at Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music.
Troeger was the author of 24 books, including four books of poetry; and wrote more than 400 hymn texts, including many focused on science and contemporary ethical issues. He was a regular columnist for Lectionary Homiletics and The American Organist, and received a lifetime achievement award from the North American Academy of Homiletics.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Merle Marie.