By CLARA CARTRETTE
Barbara and Robert Lowery met at a little drive-through restaurant called the “Chicken Thief” in Archdale when they were 16 years old. They knew early on that they were meant for each other and two years later they were married.
The Lowerys celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary March 22 with a party at Interim Centre with 80 family members and friends attending. The event was planned and carried out by their four children: Gary Lowery of Whiteville, Teresa L. Smith of Supply, Kristi L. Ritenour of Whiteville and Ginger L. Lawrimore of Conway, S.C. Their daughter Teresa sang and each of the four of the siblings spoke about their parents. Robert also sang a song and dedicated it to Barbara.
Each of the Lowery siblings has two children: Gary A. Lowrey Jr. and Ashlie Cox, Kimberlly McPherson and Courtney McPherson, Steven Ritenour II and Elizabeth Ritenour, Hunter Lawrimore and Grace Lawrimore. Great-grandchildren include Caleb, Harleigh, Dylan, Skylar, Abigail and Kaylee.
Barbara Kiser Lowery grew up in Archdale near High Point, but lived all over the place because her father was in the Army. However, Archdale was always called home.
Robert’s home was in Ash in Brunswick County but he had moved to High Point to live with his brother. He was with Barbara’s cousin when they drove up beside her at the “Chicken Thief,” and introductions were made.
That was in 1962 and they started dating soon after they met. They were married in 1964.
“I knew, and I think he knew, that we had the right person,” Barbara explained. “Oh, we’ve had our ups and downs occasionally but we’ve had a good life.” She also stated that they had been blessed with four wonderful children and 14 grandchildren.
After moving to Whiteville in 1979, Robert worked at various construction jobs doing welding and pipefitting. Eventually he went to work in the logging business until his retirement. Barbara worked at United Carolina Bank until taking early retirement.
The couple lives about eight miles out of Whiteville toward Old Dock. They have been members of Fellowship Baptist Church in Ash for more than a decade.
Since his retirement Robert has been catching up on fishing and visiting friends and relatives.
Barbara adds, “He also finds leisure time to watch plenty of westerns on TV.” She enjoys reading, crafts and lots of shopping.