2017-02-17 / Obituaries

Elizabeth Lown

Elizabeth “Pixie” Dow Lown passed away on Jan. 29, 2017. She had been suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s. Born in Portland, July 14, 1932, she was the daughter of Professor Sterling Dow and Elizabeth Flagg Dow. She grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where her father taught classics at Harvard. She went to the Buckingham School in Cambridge and later to the Winsor School in Boston. She graduated from Harvard (Radcliffe) in 1954. Pixie met her husband in college. They were married in June of 1954.

After graduation, Pixie served as a librarian at the Cambridge Public library. Thereafter, she had three children and maintained an active life in her community. She and her family lived in Amherst, New Hampshire for 41 years.

Pixie founded the Milford/Amherst League of Women Voters in New Hampshire. She earned her master’s degree in history and taught for several years at the Derryfield School. She went on to serve as a selectman in Amherst for six years, two as chairman, followed by five elected terms in the New Hampshire Legislature.

In her final two years she was chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. A highlight of her service came when she and a group of men sponsored a gun registration bill. The men all decided not to show up for the hearing when about 300 men in hunting outfits showed up to protest.

Pixie was left alone to defend the bill. She remarked to everyone that this issue separated “the men from the boys – and in this case the women were the real men.” While serving in the Legislature she was voted Citizen of the Year for the town of Amherst.

Pixie was a life-long reader and was especially fond of presidential biographies. She became a skilled knitter and members of her family still treasure some of her knitted sweaters.

She maintained extensive gardens wherever she lived. She was an avid tennis player even in her last few years. But of all her interests she loved best, entertaining people in her home and at what is called the “shack,” an old converted fish house up on stilts at Turbat’s Creek in Kennebunkport.

All of her entertaining included lively political debates. A long-time friend embroidered a pillow for her with her words, “I’d rather eat sand and have a good conversation.” She had a deep attachment to Turbat’s Creek and Cape Porpoise. Both of her parents and grandparents had summered there and she summered there every year of her life from 4 years old on.

She missed the first four years growing up in Athens, Greece, where her father taught. Up until her last year, she was a regular swimmer at Turbat’s Creek where she often swam (without a wet suit) the length of the Cross Creek. She and a friend once also swam from Turbat’s Creek to five of the seven islands in Cape Porpoise.

Pixie was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Sterling Dow III. She is survived by: her husband of 62 years, Bob; three children and their spouses, Anne and Rick, Brad and Chris , and Sarah and Gabriel; five grandchildren, Tania Lown Hecht, Rachel Hecht Bandi, Frances Lown, Abigail Lown and Peter Lown; and nephew and niece George Dow and Alexandra Hutchins of the Kennebunks.

A memorial service is planned for March 11, 2017 at 10 a.m. at First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Kennebunk. In lieu of flowers please donate to the Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter: 383 US Route 1, Scarborough, ME 04074 or the Kennebunkport Conservation Commission.

To share a memory or condolence, please visit www.coastalcremationservices.com

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