Florence “Flo” Primrose passed away on Saturday, September 17, 2022, leaving family and friends around the world with many cherished memories.
Florence Eleanor Lowell was born on July 19, 1937 in Kansas City, KS, the only girl in a family of four boys to Arthur and Phyllis (Peterson) Lowell. She was born into a family who loved education and books (printing). This shaped her life as an elementary school teacher in the Cedar Rapids public schools (Squaw Creek, Nixon, Cleveland). She was also a life-long voracious reader, finishing 250+ books per year and participating in multiple book clubs.
Flo graduated from Raytown HS in Kansas City, MO, becoming the 3rd generation of Lowell/Peterson women to attend and graduate from Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, IA. During her junior year at Cornell she met Harold “Pinky” Primrose, and they had their first date on Valentine’s Day in 1958. They married in Cedar Rapids, IA on April 30, 1960 and celebrated their 62nd anniversary in Palm Desert, CA earlier this year. They had three children, Barb Primrose Steffens, Elk Grove Village, IL; Ann Primrose Ackerson (Donovan), Oakton, VA; Roger Harold Primrose (Joke), Adel, IA.
In addition to her 29 years teaching, she served as Executive Assistant to the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association beginning in 1967, and subsequently was the first woman initiated into the Hall of Fame for the same organization in 1995, as a contributor. Prior to becoming a teacher, she was a reading specialist at Wilson Jr. HS, and Executive Assistant to the Cedar Rapids School District, Assistant Superintendent. She was also a member of AAUW, past president of the PEO-JA chapter, and an active member of the Indian Creek Nature Center as a volunteer and volunteer recruiter for over 20 years.
Her “free” time always included a book, and she also loved travel; visiting all 50 states and four continents with Pinky. She was an active bridge player, and long-time investment club member. She loved the outdoors and enjoyed gardening at home in addition to volunteering at the Nature Center. She always had time for family and friends and could be counted to lend support whenever needed.
Survivors include: her husband, Harold “Pinky” Primrose; her children mentioned above; and grandchildren, Michael Steffens (Yin Ying), Shanghai, China; Sarah Steffens, Chicago, IL; Meredith Ackerson, Salt Lake City, UT; Robert Primrose, Cedar Rapids, IA; Mark Primrose and Rachel Primrose, Adel, IA. Siblings: Payson Lowell, Overland Park, KS; John Lowell (Maria Jose), Arlington, VA; Sister-in-laws: Winnie Lowell, W. Vancouver, BC, Canada; and Gayle Holt, Hobo Sound, FL; plus many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Arthur and Phyllis Lowell; additional family member, Dorine Schmidt Lowell; siblings Keith Lowell, Charles Lowell; and parents-in-law, Lloyd and Esther Primrose; and additional in-laws Ruth Lowell, Robert and Skip Primrose and David and Susan Volz.
Special thanks to wonderful neighbors for their tremendous support and friendship over many years: Al and JoAnn Eastin and Guy and Ellery Smith.
Memorial Donations: In lieu of flowers please send donations in her honor to Indian Creek Nature Center (www.indiancreeknaturecenter.org
) or All Saints Catholic Church (Mail donations to All Saints Catholic Church, 720 29th Street SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403 – reference Florence Primrose Memorial in the memo line.)
Visitation will be held on 4-7pm, September 21, 2022, at Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home, 4200 First Avenue NE, Cedar Rapids, IA, with a funeral at 10:30am on September 22, 2022, held at All Saints Catholic Church, 720 29th Street SE, Cedar Rapids, IA. The funeral will be live-streamed for those unable to join in-person at https://folience.zoom.us/j/94257076124?pwd=YzFMZVBFbmI4UjRjN2IwaFhIWDIPdz09
(Meeting ID: 942 5707 6124 Passcode: 318184). Burial will follow at St. Michael’s Cemetery, Norway, IA.