Joe is a native Memphian, in fact we have a Lowry family member in Memphis since the 1840’s. Joe graduated from Overton High School and attended NorthWest Mississippi Junior College.
He attended the National Fire Academy and the Emergency Management Institute. He went on to serve in the Memphis Fire Department where he worked in communications and data mapping before becoming a Lieutenant in the Germantown Fire Department. Joe later served as Battalion Chief of Fire and EMS Communications for Desoto County Fire. He is a teacher who’s specialties span five different disciplines and is qualified to lead FEMA classes as well as Industrial HazMat and OSHA.
Joe is an avid historian, writer, speaker, an experienced Fire Services specialist and a Fire Historian. His research and interests are related to the streets and residential areas that make up our neighborhoods and is not afraid to tell the hard stories that made our city what it is today. When he’s not speaking to local groups he is co-moderator of the Facebook groups “Historical Sites, Memphis in Pictures, and It Happened in Memphis” He writes for multiple sites including “Historic Memphis“.
Joe also worked on the very popular WKNO Memphis Memoirs Programs in 2000 including being a co-writer of one of our favorite episodes, “Memphis at the Movies”. He contributed the research and history and you can hear him as the narrator of the production of “Beyond the Parkways”. Joe speaks often around the city including the West Tennessee Historical Society and any gathering of historians.
Joe also serves on the Shelby County Historical Commission.
In 2020 Joe was named to the newly created City Council Renaming Commission to study the renaming of streets.