April 4, 1938-May 25, 2021
Lowell Mason Salter Jr. 83, of Jacksonville, Fla., passed away in Ponte Vedra, Fla., May 25, 2021. He was born April 4, 1938, to Lowell Mason Salter Sr. and Thyra J. Mabry.
Lowell’s youth was spent in Natchitoches and he achieved early notoriety at the age of 10 by winning the first and only kid size Natchitoches Cubmobile Derby on the hill of Northwestern State University adjacent to the President’s home. The winning car and trophy are displayed in the Kaffie-Frederick Hardware store to this day.
Lowell graduated with a BBA and MBA degree from Southern Methodist University before volunteering for service in the Navy. As a young lieutenant, Lowell was serving on the USS Murray when the sonar crew on the Murray discovered three Russian submarines bound for Cuba during the Cuban Missile crises. The Murray forced the first submarine to surface and, after forceful diplomacy from the highest levels, all three returned to Russia. The Murray was operating from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, naval base at the time.
After Lowell completed his military service, he returned to Natchitoches and joined his father in the local furniture business with the intent to eventually take over the business. He was approached by NSU to teach in the business school and began teaching multiple classes in Management, Statistics and Marketing. His father noted his love of teaching and encouraged him to return to school.
Lowell graduated from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville with a PhD in Marketing. After teaching at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond for three years, Lowell joined the staff of the University of North Florida in Jacksonville where he served as a founding faculty member in the Department of Management, Marketing and Logistics. He remained at UNF the duration of his career.
Lowell is recognized as being one of three founders of the national Small Business Institute Directors Association and served as President in 1976. The Small Business Institute was started at UNF in 1973 and is still in existence. Lowell started the Small Business Development Center, the largest program in the Institute, in 1978. The Development Center guided thousands of entrepreneurs over the decades. The Institute embodied Lowell’s philosophy of helping others by equipping them with knowledge to succeed in business.
Lowell cared. He cared for his family, students, school and church….and others who touched his life. He understood that acts of kindness could have immeasurable impact on lives. He said, “There will always be others in greater need. We should be blessed with what we have and provide support to those less fortunate.”
Lowell cared for his first wife, Betty, until her death from cancer at an early age. He then raised their two children, Laura Lynn and Eric, just eight and six years old, as a single father. In later life, Lowell married Nancy and cared for her until her demise.
After retirement, Lowell met the challenge of Parkinson’s disease, but never stopped building bridges and helping others. Even in death, Lowell established endowments to help others.
Lowell is survived by his daughter, Laura McMullen (Daniel) and their children, Ashley (23) and Mason (20); son, Eric (Madelen) and their children Allison (15) and Ramsey (9); sister, Gloria Jean Fenn (Phil) and their children Debbie and Dale; and brother, Stanley (Marion) and their children Lindsay and Robert.
Lowell was preceded in death by Mason Salter, Thyra Salter, Betty Salter and Nancy Salter.
Services were June 12 in Jacksonville. His ashes were spread at sea off the coast of St. Augustine, Fla., where he spent time with his family.