Derrick Lowe: An Appreciation– Cecil County Circuit Court Clerk, Gentleman, Dies

August 5, 2015


Derrick Lowe, the two-term elected Clerk of the Cecil County Circuit Court, died suddenly Wednesday, leaving the county in shock and mourning for a dedicated, knowledgeable public official who loved his job and Cecil County.

Lowe had just visited the Cecil County fair and was excited about participating in a 4-H club livestock auction, according to his Facebook posts last week. He had a long history of involvement in local civic and charitable groups, and had the distinction of being the only local elected official to have no opposition in the last 2014 elections, when he was re-elected for his second term in office. He was a Republican.

Lowe was, in perhaps an old-fashioned term especially in local county politics, a gentleman. Kind, soft-spoken, civic-minded, and with a gentle sense of humor, Lowe embodied all that is best about Cecil County civic-mindedness and dedication to public service.

“He really loved his job,” said Cecil County Circuit Court Administrative Judge Keith Baynes. “He was very professional,” Baynes said, but he had “an easygoing way” about him that made people like and respect him and feel: “What’s not to like?”

“He was a wonderful guy,” said Baynes, who worked with Lowe just about every day. The two men had recently been traveling to Annapolis for meetings on updating the state courts and record-keeping, and Baynes noted the advances Lowe had made in updating the county’s previously antiquated court records systems.

“He wasn’t a BS’er,” Baynes said with a laugh. “He was just Derrick.”

Lowe was a lawyer, after receiving his law degree from Widener University, and undergraduate degrees in his native Tennessee. His gentle southern drawl charmed local residents and lawyers when he practiced law in Elkton before making his first run for court clerk in 2010. In that race, he unseated veteran Democrat William Brueckman, who had held the post for decades, by a substantial margin.

Part of Lowe’s campaign pledges were to modernize the Circuit Court system in Cecil County, which had lagged behind other counties’ courts in digital and physical facilities and services. He made good on those pledges, and the courthouse has been under renovations and improvements, including stepped-up security measures.

The sudden death of Lowe, which sources said occurred at a local gym early Wednesday morning, drew expressions of shock and mourning throughout the county. Social media posts throughout the county voiced dismay, shock and expressions of support for his family. Lowe is survived by his wife, Dr. Elizabeth Lowe, a physician, and the couple’s two children. The family lived in Elkton.

Lowe was “a really nice guy,” said Cecil County Council President Robert Hodge (R-5). “He thought he could contribute in a big way to the county.”

“He will be next to impossible to replace,” Hodge said. “He showed real enthusiasm for his job and he really did a good job.”

Dr. Alan McCarthy, the County Councilor from District 1 and Vice President of the Cecil County Council, said that Lowe was “a blessing and an asset to Cecil County.”

While the county is in mourning and shock over the passing of Lowe, state law specifies the procedures for selecting a temporary replacement in the post of Clerk of the Circuit Court until the next relevant election.

The four judges of the Circuit Court will convene to select a temporary replacement, to serve until the next state election for state legislative seats—which will be in 2018.

Judge Baynes said that it was too soon to address that issue, after the sudden death of Lowe, but that the court’s judges would meet in an appropriate time frame to fill the position on an interim basis.

For many Elkton lawyers, citizens, and advocates of the many charitable groups that Lowe supported, his passing will leave a large void in this county’s heart. The best way to remember him, and his legacy, would be to follow his example as a community advocate, leader, and calm voice in support of justice and all that this county can, and should, be.

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