Harry was born March 18, 1921 on a farm south of Alma, KS. His parents were Carl and Anna (Banka) Thowe. He was the oldest of their five children, and helped on the farm through high school and a few years following. His family were members of St. John Lutheran church in Alma where he was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith. In 1942 he would have been drafted into the army, but he enlisted first, serving his country in the South Pacific, in Australia, the Philippines, New Guinea, and Admiralty Islands in the Army Signal Corps. After his time in the military, there was no longer good opportunity for him on the farm, so he used the GI bill to go to school in Manhattan studying Industrial Arts. It was there that he met his wife, Viola Dunker. They were married August 29, 1952 and lived in Kansas City where Harry worked for General Motors doing template layout for Korean war jet aircraft. After the war, Harry was transferred to work on the automobile assembly line which he did for a while. After that he got involved with sales, first selling Snap-on tools, then Kirby vacuum cleaners, and ultimately making a long career selling life insurance for Lutheran Brotherhood. In 1976, he and his family moved to Russell, KS. Harry’s favorite pastimes were socializing, fishing, and playing bridge. He was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Russell. He also belonged to the Russell V.F.W. Post #6240 and the Russell Senior Center.
Harry is survived by his son Mark Thowe of Hays, Kansas; his two sisters Elsie George of Augusta, Kansas and Anita Herbert of Long Beach, California; and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, his two brothers Leland and Wilmer, his wife Viola, and a long time companion, Leona Lundy.
Celebration of Harry’s Life will be held at 10:30 AM Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary in Russell. Burial will follow at the Russell City Cemetery, where Military Rites will be conducted by the Russell V.F.W. Post #6240 Honor Guard. Visitation will be from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Monday, July 10, 2017 at the Mortuary, with the family present to greet friends from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM. A Memorial has been established with the Russell Senior Center. Contributions and condolences may be sent to Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary, who is in charge of these arrangements.