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Journalist appreciated cinema humor

AlLowe
Al Lowe

Al Lowe always yearned to work in the newspaper business. And he never let the lack of a full-time job as a reporter keep him from pursuing his passion.

“There was no question Al was dedicated to reporting,” said Margi Shrum, an assistant metro editor for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, where Mr. Lowe worked as a freelance news correspondent.

“He would call about even the slightest thing he thought should be pursued to make sure the city newspapers he worked for over the years had been alerted,” Shrum said. “Even when he was ill, he called with tips.”

Albert James “Butch” Lowe Jr. of Mt. Washington died of a heart attack on Tuesday, June 26, 2012. He was 63.

Mr. Lowe was a 1974 graduate of Duquesne University, where he earned a degree in journalism.

“He really loved reporting and got the chance to start doing some of it while he was still serving in the military,” said Roger Stuart of Dormont, a longtime friend and Mr. Lowe’s editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

“When Al was discharged after a couple stints in the military, including one in Vietnam, he began doing freelance work and ended up reporting for nearly all of the local newspapers. He was known for working his sources and being on top of the things and people he covered.”

While journalism topped the list of Mr. Lowe’s interests, his love of cinema was a close second, said his brother, Michael, 53, of Dormont.

“His work brought him into contact with a lot of people, but most of them didn’t know he had a really good sense of humor,” Lowe said. “I think that sense of humor was developed, in part, from his love of comedy films by the Marx Brothers and Abbott and Costello, which goes back to when he was a kid.”

Mr. Lowe’s love — and breadth of knowledge — about film even carried into the work he did as an elder with the United Presbyterian Church of Universal in Penn Hills, where Stuart became a lay pastor following retirement.

“Al could quote dialogue from old and new films alike and knew who all the producers, directors and actors were,” Stuart said. “And if there was a subject he was addressing while teaching a Sunday school program, he could work a movie reference into it. It was pretty impressive.”

In addition to his brother, Michael, Mr. Lowe is survived by a sister, Donna Slack of Bridgeville, and brother, Paul Lowe of Brookline.

Friends will be received from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Monday at the William Slater & Sons Funeral Home, 301 Virginia Ave., Mt. Washington. Interment will follow at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies in Cecil.

Tony LaRussa is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7987 or tlarussa@tribweb.com.

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