Lois "Salley" Schoonmaker Lowe Inducted 2007 - Class of 1943

While a student at Stickney School, Lois was asked to give a safety speech on the radio. Her escorts to the radio station were on-duty police officers. Unfortunately, her fellow students didn't know the reason for her departure and saw her being escorted out of the building by these police officers. They could not believe their eyes! Her favorite teacher from Stickney was Miss Pasch, who encouraged Lois to consider studying communications in college. Miss Pasch remained a mentor and very special to Lois for many years.

It was at Woodward where Lois acquired the nickname "Sally," and it stuck. As editor of the Saga, she became known as "Sally Saga." Mr. Ray "Pop" Sheline was the Saga Advisor and, to confer with him, she had to sit in on his Physics class every morning at 9 a.m. She was the only girl in the class, but it was a worthwhile experience. Sally says Mr. Sheline brought out the best in the students. She was also a member of Zetalethean Literary Society, National Honor Society, Student Council, Fasces Club, and the Victory Club.

Sally remembers other favorite WHS teachers who made lasting impressions: Mrs. Hazel McManamon, whose English classes made poetry, Shakespeare, and English literature come alive; Mr. Howard Phipps, who always lamented that he taught more English (especially composition) in his Latin class than he did Latin ; Mrs. Kathryn Schuler , who emphasized the importance of students understanding themselves by knowing their backgrounds and the values their parent were trying to impress upon them; and Mr. Montgomery, who taught Printing. Even though it was WWII and supplies for publishing a yearbook were very slim, he still managed to publish not only the Saga but also the year's issues of The Tattler bound in the same book. That publication remains as one of the best preservations of their high school memories. Sally says the finest principal she has ever known was Mr. Charles LaRue. She admired his character as a man and his values, especially at a time when he wrote these words in The Tattler: "We are preparing for the realities in life, and those realities in 1942 are stark and threatening'" He asked the students to face the days ahead courageously and confidently and said , if they did , they would not fail themselves and the country.

The most memorable time for the Class of  '43, as Sally recalls, was the football game against Waite held on Friday, October 2, 1942. Woodward hadn't won a game in eight years. Their Polar Bear football team, led by Coach Vorderburg, senior Paul "Pogie" Varwig, and an amazing team beat Waite 6-0! The Woodward students tore down the goal post and enthusiastically carried it across the Cherry Street Bridge (depositing some of that post in the Maumee), danced through the streets of downtown and through hotel lobbies, all the while (following the words of Red Skelton who said We dood it"),chanting "We dood it!" This chant continued the following Monday when the students gathered at school in the Boys' Gym to celebrate their victory and the free day that was promised to them if they won the game. Mr. LaRue promised the proceeds from the Magazine Drive would go toward a fund for their very own stadium. It was the most stunning upset in Toledo football history! "We dood it" is still their class's chant to this day!

At the encouragement of Saga advisor, Mr. Ray "Pop" Sheline, Sally and fellow classmates Chuck Mann (WHS Hall of Fame Member) and Norm Dageforde attended Bethany College in West Virginia, where they qualified for scholarships. Sally majored in Sociology and Psychology. She will be attending her college's 60th Class Reunion this June. Later in her career, she went on to The University of Michigan, where she obtained her Masters in Social Work and her Supervisor's License.

Sally's lifelong devotion to social work, mental health and children's agencies, and Alzheimer' s patients is widely known throughout Northwest Ohio. She has served on the teaching staff at Lourdes College. She has supervised students from BGSU, UT, Defiance College, and U of M. She initiated the formation and serves on the Board of Alzheimer's Association of Northwest Ohio. Sally is a former board member of the Mental Health Association of Lucas County. She is a Charter Member of Ohio’s Counselor and Social Work and the Marriage & Family Therapist Boards. She has won many awards from various associations, and has coordinated numerous projects and seminars for many service agencies.

Sally's enthusiasm for many things hasn't diminished one bit in her "retirement." She continues to keep her Social Work License current, works part-time, plays bridge several times a month, involves herself with her church in Waterville, tries to work out as often as possible, and maintains strong friendships with her Woodward classmates. She has been an instrumental part of organizing all Class of 1943 reunions (now monthly luncheons).

Sally was married to John H. Lowe, an accountant for OI, for many wonderful years. He passed away in 1993. Two of her three siblings are also Woodward grads. Sally has a daughter, Kathe Lowe-Gatton, son-in -law, Ron Gatton, and two "grand dogs." Congratulations on your induction Sally, "you dood it!"

©2020 Woodward Alumni Hall of Fame

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