Wedding room dedicated to late clerk of court
— 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
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.”
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.
This portrait and plaque were hung in the new wedding room Friday in memory of the late Clerk of Court Derrick Lowe.