Odis Franklin Lowery Sr.

Published 6:32 pm Saturday, March 12, 2016

Odis Franklin Lowery Sr. passed away on Friday, March 11, 2016, at Merit-Health River Region Medical Center.  He was 86.

Mr. Lowery was born in Friars Point, and lived most of his life in Vicksburg.

Odis worked at Letourneau for a short time as a welder. However, most of his career was with Patton-Tully Transportation.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

In 1965, he was offered the position as superintendent of river boat operations.  He and his crew raised numerous tugboats and barges that sank in the Mississippi, Tennessee, Ohio and Red rivers, and he was well known up and down the Mississippi River.

Odis designed and initiated a new barge turning method in Vicksburg for re-bottoming or residing barges, which reduced the downtime and cost of barge repairs.  During the summer of 1981, Odis built a 350 ton “A” frame in order to compete with other river salvage companies for the heavier and more difficult salvage jobs. This allowed the company’s salvage work to increase steadily. Numerous boats and barges were returned to service in a much quicker time period. He retired in 1996 from Patton-Tully Transportation with over 50 years of service.
Knowing that the state was to build a new bridge over Interstate 20 at Vicksburg, Odis built a small tugboat “Rosa” in his backyard.  His tugboat was used to transport the concrete buckets to the piers.  After bridge completion, the boat was sold to the contract company and later was sent to South America.

In 1980, Odis and his son Ricky opened Ricky’s Welding and Machine Shop.

He was an avid hunter and fisherman and loved his tractors. He also loved planting trees.

Mr. Lowery is preceded in death by his father, Grady Lee Lowery; and his mother, Mary Johnston Lowery; a grandson, Michael Farrell Lowery; a granddaughter, LaTeasha Lowery Brewer; three brothers, Elmer Lee Lowery, Willard Russell Lowery, Roy Lee Grady Lowery; and one sister, Mary Francis Lowery.

He is survived by his wife, Rosa Bell Lowery of Vicksburg; two sons, Odis Lowery Jr. of Vicksburg and Ricky Russell Lowery (Deborah) of Vicksburg; one daughter, Mary “Dean” Hampton (James) of Vicksburg; two granddaughters, Amy Hampton Marble (Barry) of Sterlington, La., and Michelle Lowery Cole (Josh) of Vicksburg; four great-grandchildren, Brittany Brewer, William Marble, McKenzie Cole and Caden Cole.

Services will be 11 a.m. Monday, March 14, 2016, at Frank J. Fisher Funeral Home with the Rev. Matt Buckles officiating. Burial will follow at Greenlawn Gardens Cemetery.

Visitation will be on Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. at the funeral home, and Monday from 10 a.m. until the hour of service.

Pallbearers will be Josh Cole, Barry Marble, Karl Kolb, Tony Kolb, Terry Guynes, Kevin Mackey, Chris Bell and Joe Little.  Honorary pallbearers will be Harold Soverns, Barney Owens, Bobby Bailess, Dan Daily, Robert Richardson, Russell Vines, Ronnie Andrews, Dan Waring, Bo Segers, Perry Husky, Denny Burns, Tully Hall and Martin Lewis.