CHARLESTON, IL – Lowell Tilson Boroughs, age 99, passed away on May 27, 2021, at Odd Fellow Rebekah Home in Mattoon, Illinois, with family at his bedside. He was born November 18, 1921, to parents Luther E. Boroughs and Maud (Robertson) Boroughs in East Chicago, Indiana. Lowell was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Frank Boroughs. Lowell was married to Marcia (Barnett) Boroughs on June 10, 1944, at her parent’s home in rural Indianapolis. They had three sons: Dana of Boise, Idaho; Brian (wife Valerie) of Charleston, Illinois; Wayne (wife Karen) of Ft. Collins, Colorado. There are four grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.
Lowell’s life passion was music. He was born into a musical family: his dad, Luther, was the band director of Roosevelt High School in East Chicago, Indiana, and his mother, Maud, played piano and gave piano lessons. Brother Frank played trumpet in the Frankie Carle Band during the “big band era”.
Lowell had a distinguished career as a musician, band and orchestra director and music educator. Lowell held two master’s degrees in Music Theory and Musical Performance. He also played clarinet in the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra at age 21 for three years. Lowell delighted in telling stories about his interactions with world renowned conductors, composers, and musicians. Lowell mastered the playing of multiple instruments but specialized in the clarinet and violin.
Lowell spent twelve years as director of the band and orchestra at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas. The Bethany Band was considered one of the top small college bands in the country. Lowell completed his teaching and directing career spending seven years as Chairman of the Music Department and conductor of the university’s band and orchestra at the University of Indianapolis.
In 1990 Lowell and Marcia moved to Charleston, Illinois and built their retirement home near two of their sons, Dana and Brian.
Recollection of Summer Travels…
While their sons were young and Lowell had his summers free from teaching, the family spent the summers in the west, camping with tents or travel trailer, with the focus on scenery, history, and of course, keeping a special eye out for promising trout fishing water for the boys! And this explains their sons’ penchant for the same today.
From 1990 through 2014, Lowell and Marcia continued traveling, visiting most of the great national parks and monuments of the west. They also spent a number of summers at their favorite haunt – Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.
Marcia lives in Charleston, Illinois and continues to pursue her career in art. She had a viewing of a small portion of her life’s work in January 2021 at the Link Art Gallery in Paris, Illinois. This included 40 paintings, pottery, and items that were woven and knitted from raw wool that she had washed, carded, dyed, and spun.
Lowell donated his body to the Anatomical Gift Association of Illinois in Chicago and no services are planned as per his wishes.