Oliver F. "Ollie" Lowman Jr., railroader, dies

He worked for the old Pennsylvania Railroad as a freight conductor

March 21, 2011|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun

Oliver F. "Ollie" Lowman Jr., a retired railroader and World War II veteran, died March 15 of multiple organ failure at Carroll Hospital Center.

The Finksburg resident was 84.

The son of a Baltimore police officer and a homemaker, Mr. Lowman was born and raised in Baltimore.

Mr. Lowman dropped out of high school and enlisted in the Navy in 1943. He served in the Atlantic as a gunner aboard the light cruisers USS Philadelphia and USS Providence and the freighter SS Rhode Island.

He was discharged at war's end with the rank of seaman.

"They called the Providence the 'Galloping Ghost of the Sicily Coast,' because the Germans reported sinking the ship twice," said a daughter, Kathy Walsh of Finksburg.

After the war, Mr. Lowman went to work for the old Pennsylvania Railroad and later Penn-Central as a freight conductor. He was based at Bayview Yard in East Baltimore until retiring from successor company Conrail in 1988.

The former Woodlawn resident, who moved to Finksburg 34 years ago, was an avid HO-gauge model railroader who enjoyed working on his permanent layout and building from scratch many of its components.

He and his wife of 61 years, the former Margaret E. Jenkins, enjoyed visiting Skyline Drive in the spring and autumn, where they rented a cabin and hiked local trails.

Mr. Lowman was also a Civil War buff who liked visiting battlefields.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Eline Funeral Home, 934 S. Main St., Hampstead.

In addition to his wife and daughter, Mr. Lowman is survived by a son, Frank Lowman III of Hampstead; two other daughters, Patricia O'Bradovich of Linthicum and Linda Smith of Glenville, Pa.; a brother, Charles Keyser of Westminster; and seven grandchildren.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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