81-year-old shot putter Jerry Lowery honored

Courtesy photo Jerry Lowery, 81, of Jackson, received an All American Masters Track and Field certificate after a shot put throw of 33 feet, 3 1/2 inches.

JACKSON — Jerry Lowery is 81 years young.

The 1956 Marietta High graduate earned an All American Masters Track and Field certificate after throwing the shot put 33 feet, 3-1/2 inches earlier this year at the Jackson Field Trials in Jackson.

Lowery threw the shot 33 feet, 3-1/2 inches. The Master’s Men’s All American standard in the 80-84 age group is 27-3-1/2, he said.

“I tell you, that’s hard to do, because I’d tried for several years,” Lowery continued. “It took a lot of practice and calisthenics. I had to ride the exercise bike every day and lifted weights Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.”

Lowery began throwing the shot and discus after he turned 37 in 1975. He’s basically been self-coached and learned how to throw by observing video on the Internet.

“If I have any regrets, I wish I’d gone out for the Marietta track team when I was in high school,” he said.

Fact is, Lowery didn’t compete in any sports at MHS. After graduation, he was in the army for three years. Later, he attended Rio Grande and received an accounting degree. And, he then got married and resided in Jackson.

“My wife Freda and I have been married 59 years,” Lowery said. “And we’ve raised three children.

“My daughter’s a teacher, and one of my sons was in the air force. Another died a few years back.”

After Lowery retired as an accountant in 1998, he stayed active as a pastor at a church in Ft. Wayne, Ind.

“I took a theological correspondence course and got a degree,” he said. “Being a pastor for seven years was an interesting experience.

“Even today, I teach Bible studies twice a week.”

Lowery and his wife moved back to Jackson in 2005. Both are in relatively good health.

“I haven’t had any knee or hip replacements or anything,” he said, laughing. “I believe exercise is so important.”

Lowery paused.

“And, I’m going to try to repeat (as an All American) in the shot put next year,” he said.

Ron Johnston can be reached at rjohnston@mariettatimes.com

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