Wed­ding room ded­i­cated to late clerk of court

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By CARL HAMIL­TON

ca­hamil­ton@ce­cil­whig.com

— When he took of­fice back in 2010, the late Clerk of Court Der­rick Lowe en­vi­sioned a bright, chapel-like civil wed­ding cer­e­mony room on the first floor of the Ce­cil County Cir­cuit Court­house.

On Fri­day morn­ing, a crowd of his fam­ily, friends and court­house em­ploy­ees, in­clud­ing cir­cuit and dis­trict court judges, packed the very wed­ding room he had imag­ined be­fore stew­ard­ing that idea to fruition. Those

ELK­TON

peo­ple had turned out for a brief cer­e­mony in which that wed­ding room was ded­i­cated in Lowe’s mem­ory.

“Der­rick was pas­sion­ate about the court­house ren­o­va­tions and es­pe­cially with his vision to cre­ate a new mar­riage cer­e­mony room. As you can see, he did a great job,” Clerk of Court Char­lene Notar­cola told the at­ten­dees.

Notar­cola, who had served as Lowe’s deputy clerk of court for five years, was ap­pointed to fill the po­si­tion shortly af­ter Lowe, 49, died un­ex­pect­edly on Aug. 5.

Mov­ing the wed­ding room up from the base­ment Mar­riage Bureau and pro­vid­ing a bet­ter place for those seek­ing mar­riage li­censes and civil cer­e­monies was high on Lowe’s list of goals when he was elected to his first four-year term in Novem­ber 2010.

The base­ment wed­ding room, which was used for decades, was out of the way for court­house visi­tors, he be­lieved, Notar­cola said, not­ing that the other of­fices

su­per­vised by the Clerk of Court are on the first floor.

Lowe also felt that the room lacked aes­thet­ics and func­tion­al­ity suit­able for con­duct­ing such a se­ri­ous cer­e­mony, she added.

Mak­ing it much more invit­ing, the new wed­ding room has pews that can ac­com­mo­date about 30 peo­ple; the old one had enough room for about six chairs. The new civil wed­ding room was cre­ated dur­ing a court­house ren­o­va­tion and ex­pan­sion project that lasted 18 months and cost $1.46 mil­lion. The over­all project was com­pleted in Septem­ber 2014.

Dur­ing the ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony, a por­trait of Lowe and a plaque were hung on a wall near the wed­ding room en­trance. The plaque reads: Cer­e­mony Room. In Mem­ory of Der­rick W. Lowe, Esquire. Clerk of the Court 2010-2015. Do­nated by the Staff of the Cir­cuit Court of Ce­cil County.

Lowe’s widow, Dr. El­iz­a­beth Lowe, and their chil­dren, Web­ster, 13, and Emma, 10, were in at­ten­dance.

“This is like his crown­ing glory. He re­ally wanted to have this mar­riage room. It was im­por­tant to him,” she said Fri­day.

Also there for the ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony were Lowe’s mother, Frances Lowe, and his brother, Craig Lowe. They trav­eled from Lowe’s na­tive Ten­nessee to at­tend the cer­e­mony.

They also were in town to at­tend a blue­grass con­cert at Mil­burn Stone Theatre on Ce­cil Col­lege’s North East cam­pus on Satur­day — a yearly event that has been re­named “The An­nual Der­rick Lowe Me­mo­rial Evening of Blue­grass” be­cause Lowe served as the pri­mary planner. Satur­day night’s show fea­tured mu­sic acts that Lowe re­port­edly had picked just weeks be­fore he died.

“I can’t get over how much he was loved here,” his mother said af­ter Fri­day’s ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony.

Lowe’s brother com­mented, “It tells you what peo­ple in this town think of him, how well-liked he was.”

The love and re­spect for Lowe could be found in Notar­cola’s at­ten­tion to de­tail when putting to­gether a break­fast buf­fet that fol­lowed the cer­e­mony. The plas­tic cups and uten­sils and the pa­per plates and nap­kins were or­ange — the color of the Univer­sity of Ten­nessee Vol­un­teers sports teams, of which Lowe was a de­voted fan. A flower ar­range­ment in­cluded pur­ple iris, Ten­nessee’s state flower.

To­ward the end of Notar­cola’ cer­e­mony speech, she said, “Today we ded­i­cate this Cer­e­mony Room in Der­rick’s mem­ory. May Der­rick live in our mem­o­ries and in our hearts.”

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY CARL HAMIL­TON

Fam­ily mem­bers of the late Clerk of Court Der­rick Lowe stand near the por­trait and plaque hung in his mem­ory in the new wed­ding room. From left: Lowe’s brother, Craig Lowe; his daugh­ter, Emma, 10; his son, Web­ster, 13; his widow, Dr. El­iz­a­beth Lowe; and his mother, Frances Lowe.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY CARL HAMIL­TON

This por­trait and plaque were hung in the new wed­ding room Fri­day in mem­ory of the late Clerk of Court Der­rick Lowe.

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