- 84 years old
- Date of birth: Aug 16, 1929
- Date of passing: Jun 20, 2014
|Let the memory of Jim be with us forever|
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Jim Lowes, 84, born on August 16, 1929 and passed away on June 20, 2014. Jim truly enjoyed life to the fullest. We will forever be in our hearts.
"Miss you Uncle Jim. Happy Birthday."
You were the most fun of anyone with whom to play golf. Never a discouraging word from you and always such a gentleman. I loved talking with you about Syracuse basketball and your buddy Jim Boeheim. It was wonderful meeting you and getting to know you, and I'll always remember you.
"Jim and I were friends since October 6, 1964. Why that date? - - - because we both started at Parker on the same day in the “Systems Division” on Century Blvd in Los Angeles. Over the years it has been a great joy to work with, and experience, Jim’s marketing genius that captured so many programs vital to Parker. In the beginning it was propellant valves for satellites, Apollo flight improvements, aircraft inerting, and Space Shuttle systems, and later, his superb leadership had Parker on “everything that flies”. He was a gregarious competitor, with a booming voice, unrestrained enthusiasm and positive attitude. What a great leader and marketing voice for Parker’s success.
It was Jim who gave me the opportunity to move out of Engineering leadership when he appointed me as his Marketing Manager for Air and Space when it was first being created. This formed the background that later led to my eventual role as a General Manager. I was always thankful to Jim for his lasting mentorship and the trust and confidence he saw in me. He was my cheer leader and I will never forget how often he said to me “ that away, Tiger”?
We also enjoyed some fun in attempting to bankrupt Vegas. We worked together on a card counting scheme in which we would raise our bets when the cards became “rich in count”. So while playing, Jim made a monstrous raise at the exact same time I was pulling mine back; we looked at each other and decided we hadn’t mastered the system. I can still picture Jim’s enthusiasm at the Blackjack table – a crowd would often stop to watch and listen.
We shared the love for tennis. After Jim’s move to Palm Springs, I was able to continue to visit Jim and Janice, even as recently as a few months ago. Though it was difficult for Jim to talk, his gesture made it clear he was asking about my tennis.
We will always remember Jim for his leadership, inspiration and friendship.
Bob and Pat Jones"
"Jim was one of the golf gang at MVCC. He was the most pleasant person one could ask for to be part of a foursome. He was always polite, interesting and fun to be with. His love and my love of Syracuse basketball brought us many minutes of conversation. I even accused him of resembling Jimmy Boeheim. Janice and family, Jim will be sorely missed by many. Our deepest condolences, Pete & Sue"
"Everyone lucky enough to have known Jim will feel the loss of this kind, fun, and always generous man. Rita and I are sorry for your loss, Janice, and send our condolences to you and to Jim's family."
"Jim was a tremendous results driven leader who trusted in those he enlisted and somehow made work fun. Fun, as Jim taught us, is an important component of a career, not a job.
I will always respect Jim for who he was, what he helped many of us to become and I will always remember his wise words that follow (which I will always have hanging prominently in my office):
Are the most important people in our business.
Are not dependent on us, we are dependent on them.
Are not interruptions of our work, they are the purpose for it.
Do us a favor when they call, we are not doing them a favor by serving them.
Are a part of our business, not outsiders.
Are not cold statistics. They are flesh-and-blood human beings with feelings and emotions like our own.
Are not there to argue or match wits with.
Bring us their wants, it is our job to fulfill those wants,
Are deserving of the best, courteous and attentive treatment we can give them.
Are the lifeblood of our business.
Pretty simple... RIP my friend and mentor"
"I was fortunate to have worked for Jim Lowes from the time I started with Parker in 1977 until his retirement from Parker in 1997.
During those years I had the opportunity to observe Jim display his exceptional skills in varied roles as General Manager of Air and Space Division, as Aerospace Group Marketing Director, and as Aerospace Group Vice President of Marketing and Customer Support.
In all of these positions Jim was an inspirational leader, an innovator and a mentor.
AN INSPIRATIONAL LEADER
Everyone loved listening to Jim’s presentations and to spending one on one time with him. He was our cheer leader! Jim was a great speaker and constant motivator. He knew how to get the most out of people through his positive attitude, energy and enthusiasm. At times every one of us who worked for Jim probably heard him say - “Way to go Champ”, “Good job Chief”, Go get ‘em Tiger!”. He had a way of making you feel like you were the best and he empowered you to excel and achieve our goals without a lot of oversight. Yet, he was always available for any needed advice or encouragement. In all the years I worked for Jim, I never heard him make negative comments about a coworker. If he could not say something positive, he would not say it.
Our customers loved Jim. He was Parker’s “Customer Champion”. He helped convince Parker management to make Customer Satisfaction our number one goal, ahead of financial performance. He published Parker’s Customer Pledge and continuously reinforced the Aerospace Group’s commitment to the tenants expressed therein. This attitude and long term commitment to customer satisfaction differentiated us from many competitors and enabled us to win business we otherwise might have lost.
Every year Jim would organize productive and inspiring Group marketing meetings, where the world-wide marketing team would meet with the key division staff, marketing, engineering and Group leadership to celebrate Group Marketing’s accomplishments and to collaborate on future marketing goals and objectives. Every third year Jim would include the spouses usually in a special location, and in addition to the normal business meetings Jim weaved in a varied agenda of interactive social and entertainment events. This was a very smart move on Jim’s part, since the spouses were more willing to allow their Parker counterparts to spend many days away from home and work on business at odd hours, day or night, in exchange for an invitation to these meetings. He made these meetings really fun and informative by creating a theme for each meeting. For example his themes included “The Sky is the Limit”, “The Pursuit of Excellence” and “The Competitive Edge”. He tied in activities, competition and events linked to each theme. Few of us will forget the costumes everyone had to make ahead of time and wear to “The Sky is the Limit” dinner and costume party, or the Trivial Pursuit themed games and competitions for “The Pursuit of Excellence” meeting. By creating mixed teams of participants who did not usually working together, he established new relationships, esprit de corps, and bonds that continued for many years among the spouses and Parker attendees.
Jim was an innovator and risk taker. Long before many aerospace companies recognized the value of the aftermarket, Jim recognized that even though the primes were key to our OEM business success, the aftermarket customers were key to our profitability and long term financial success. He recognized that our existing Product Support Division did a world class job of supporting our commercial airline customers, but that our military customers did not get the same level of service or support. Therefore in 1990 he established CSO - Customer Support Organization, with both a Commercial Customer Support Division and a separate Military Customer Support Division, to focus on the unique and special needs of military customers, both domestic and international.
To better serve our aftermarket customers and break down the existing functional silos that were focused on the needs of their discipline or department, Jim took the radical step at that time of reorganizing CSO into “customer focused teams”. Instead of having departments for contracts, marketing, planning, operations, engineering etc, Jim established separate customer focused teams that included members from each functional discipline, but focused on the needs of their distinct customer groups. He had us set up commercial teams focused on major airlines, regional airlines, primes, and third party customers, and on the military side, teams focused on the Army, Navy, Air Force and International Military customers. Each team’s sole purpose was to meet or exceed the needs of their customers.
With Jim’s encouragement Parker Aerospace later adopted cross functional, customer focused teams in many of our divisions, as opposed to the usual practice of organizing by function or by region that made it easier for Parker to manage.
When it came to winning OEM business Jim was at his competitive best and often figured out innovative ways of capturing new business or pulling deals out of the fire. He started up an advanced military program marketing team with key marketing personnel dedicated to developing key relationships and knowledge about emerging programs and the customers needs well in advance of program launch. In order to keep multiple competitors at bay, Jim started teaming with key competitors to win the business for both companies. He used licensees to help win international program business. He recognized that by designing and selling systems rather than just selling components, Parker could move up the OEM food chain and provide more value to the Primes so they could out-source some of this work to us. This again differentiated us from our traditional competitors. For the MD-95 program which contained a lot of Boeing (formerly Douglas) proprietary parts, Jim came up with the creative concept of having Parker manage and procure all of the parts for the complete hydraulic system, allowing Boeing/Douglas to out-source the entire bill of material to one company to procure and supply the production line with preassembled kits.
To many Parker employees Jim was a great mentor, encouraging, prodding and suggesting ways to grow and improve. He would recognize an individual’s key skills and put them in positions where they could best utilize those skills for their advancement and Parker’s benefit. If you had an issue he would help you craft a creative solution. His door was always open and he welcomed input from his team as well as outsiders, because Jim treated everyone as a Customer! Many of Parker’s past and current leaders benefitted greatly from Jim’s wisdom and insight.
On a more personal level, Jim was not just a leader or boss, but a good friend to many of us. Jim was quick witted and fun to be around. He had a wonderful sense of humor and compassion. After his retirement from Parker Jim’s grandson Spencer became his most important customer, after Janice of course! You could not talk to Jim without him proudly mentioning Spencer and his accomplishments. I am sure that his daughter, Melissa, and grandson Spencer, were the also the recipients of his many skills, insight, and sense of humor.
Jim will be deeply missed, but the memories of him will live on! Way to go Champ!!"
We have always thought of Jim being the perfect gentleman. We still remember the trip we took to Myrtle Beach. He will be missed."
"Uncle Jim was an amazing and funny man. He never had an unkind word to say about any one.. He always had a story and a joke ready to tell. He was so much fun fun to be around. He was a gentle soul who loved his family. He will be sorely missed by many. My thoughts and prayers are with his beloved wife Janice and his beloved daughter Melissa and her family who he was so proud of."
"Miss Janice- It is with a sad and heavy heart that I write this, on your loss of Jim. As you read these words you cannot feel the sadness and pain we hold for our dear friend, Mr. Jim, or as I called him my "Main Man". You are very lucky, as you spent your adult life with this wonderful man. We on the other hand only had a few short years with him, but they were good years. Jim was a "make you feel good" kind of man. Not everyone has that quality, Mr. Jim had it. Most people try, but just can't do it, he was very special that way! So now we turn one of the "Big and Heavy" pages of life, and try to learn to live without him. If you open my book, you will find "Mr. Jim" right there on the first page. He was very special to me, he was my friend! However, my "Main Man" is in Heaven now, and we know that all those who are there life a wonderful life...second to none! And that's the way it should be for my friend. There is no pain or suffering in Heaven! Jim was a Champion and stands at the top of the mountain. He was the Best of the Best! One of the things he did was give us memories, rich or poor, they can't be taken from us. They live in the heart and mind. We will miss our friend very much, but I am a better person for having the pleasure of knowing him. He made our lives better!"
"Jim Lowes was a force larger than life at Parker Aerospace. His impact on our organization was meaningful and significant.
His strong and focused emphasis on customer service helped form our very culture and way of doing business. Jim had a hand in many important developments and decisions at Parker, from the support of the space program and the rescue of Apollo 13 to developing partnerships with OEM and MRO customers that last to this day. When Jim is spoken of at Parker Aerospace today, it is with respect and appreciation – and a little awe.
Jim was certainly inspirational to me, as a young women new to the company and green to the industry. His knowledge and insights in our business were broad, and I looked forward to every opportunity to speak with him, because I learned something more with every encounter. Sometimes it was fact based – he taught me about our customers and the world’s fleet. And sometimes it was more subtle – he shared his thoughts about why decisions were made or technologies were selected that helped me better understand the subtleties of our industry.
Jim’s enthusiasm, energy, and passion for all things aviation were inspirational to all who had the opportunity to know him. And they were infectious and engaging – he had a direct and major effect on scores, if not hundreds of people.
I hope that he knew that he was somewhat of a legend around Parker. His direction and drive directly shaped its significant success and helped make it the key player that it is today. Now, 26 years after joining this company, I remember the impact that Jim had on me in the early years, with gratitude and appreciation."
"Jim Lowes – My Mentor & the C5-A Fire Protection System Existence
Thursday, June 26, 2014
It was an extreme pleasure to have known this dynamic and resourceful man. The times we spent together over the years were exhilarating. I especially respected his marketing genius & his Secret Plan to capture the C5-A Fuel Tank Fire Protection System Contract for our Division was an exceptional achievement! Jim & I travelled extensively to numerous regions of the USA to personally garner operational intelligence that would lead to this eventual Governmental contract. We also pursued Commercial Airline Fuel Tank Inerting integration interests, “against” virtually all opponents in that industry. Note: I had invented Nitrogen Inerting in 1960 when employed by NAA, and I was asked to join Parker Aircraft to further that effort as a result of their successful delivery of the Fuel Tank Inerting System for the B-70 Aircraft..
Jim’s Secret Plan worked flawlessly:
Step #1 – Get the Air Force to issue an RFQ for Inerting one of their Aircraft. Preferably the C5-A
Step #2 – Get Lockheed Marietta, GA to become a Member of our team. That would lock-up the technical integration complexities that would assure our success in capture of the eventual contract. It was vital that no one in the industry know about this merge!
Step #3 – Prepare the Cost Analysis for our effort at a Fixed Price & imbed a Cost Contract for Lockheed. Total cost to be less than our competitors. (This is where Jim truly shined.)
How the Secret Plan was Implemented:
Jim had me fly to WPAFB and write a White Paper (technical proposal) for the AF to incorporate into their RFQ. The AF Staff members were expecting me, a special area for my use was setup, and in four-days that task was accomplished.
Jim Peck (Division Manager) & I then flew to Lockheed to meet secretly with their President and VP. Collectively we shook hands on the plan; and only their Chief Engineer was informed of the actions – and the later responsibility he would have: Parker will send a team to their facility for management of the system integration and Lockheed would send one or more engineers to Parker’s facilities after we won the contract. I stayed there for three days, and wrote the Lockheed RFQ that would be formally issued later when we were placed under contract. The chief engineer was to initiate an immediate definition of the costs and schedules they would face once they were under contract. They were admonished to hold the costs to this estimate and not pursue additional “missed changes of scope”.
Both companies now had a three-month lead on preparation of our ‘expected’ proposal for retrofit in advance of the Air Force’s RFQ release date! The abject sincerity expressed by all of Parker’s employees engaged in the program enabled Jim to successfully secure that contract.
It was a distinct pleasure to work with this outstanding person; and his absence will be missed. He was my friend.
Cleve Kimmel (Billings, MT)"
"Carol and I offer our sincere condolences on the passing of Jim Lowes to his wife Janice and his family.
My clearest memory of Jim is of his unique and inspirational presentations. We all looked forward to his presentations as they were always very informative, inspirational, and interesting.
Jim was an excellent marketing executive and I can still hear his eloquent voice. Jim had an open door policy and was always willing to talk to me. He would listen to my ideas and was very willing to give positive feedback. Parker lost a real asset when Jim retired and now we, who knew him have lost a remarkable man.
May God give him a peaceful rest and give his family eternal comfort.
"I've always known Jim always a very polite happy young marketing executive chef I started at Parker back in nearly 70s include you know him very well he was very inspirational time always able to talk to you on different issues marketing etc. through the aerospace industry"
"Early in my Marketing career with Parker, in about 1985, I remember meeting Jim at one of his Marketing meetings in CA. He had such a commanding presence and I remember being in awe of his passion for the Aerospace business and Parker. He set a very high bar for future VP's of Marketing at Parker. In 2008, when I became VP of Marketing it was quite unsettling, because I knew that I was no Jim Lowes...but then again, there never will be. Jim will be missed and always remembered for his passion, his leadership and love for Aerospace and Parker."
Have a suggestion for us?