The LSU Libraries lost a treasured staff member on January 31, 2021, when John A. Stowe passed away at age 50 after a long illness with which he had struggled courageously during the past four years. A native of Mansura in Avoyelles Parish, Stowe earned a degree in English at LSU and worked as an editor for World Book in Chicago prior to joining the LSU Libraries.
He first worked as a library associate in the former Collection Development/Acquisitions unit in the main library from 2008 to 2012. He then worked in Special Collections Technical Services from 2013 until his death. While the majority of Stowe’s activities in the Libraries took place behind the scenes and may have been known only to those who worked with him directly, his contributions will be remembered in light of the remarkable ethos by which he lived and the spirit in which he undertook every task that came his way.
Appreciated by coworkers for his quiet steadfastness, dedication, and calm temperament, Stowe carried out a varied array of duties during his years at the LSU Libraries. Whether dealing with incoming book shipments, assisting with special projects, keeping Louisiana state publications well organized, or staffing the front desk in Hill Memorial Library on early morning shifts, Stowe performed these and many other tasks with unfailing patience and good cheer. No matter what circumstances or challenges arose, he was always willing to lend a helping hand whenever and wherever needed. When Stowe’s illness began to prevent him from functioning as he was accustomed to, he still tenaciously continued doing what he was able to for the Libraries for as long as possible.
Stowe will be greatly missed by all who worked with him and had known him. He put his friends and colleagues first, even while he was struggling with his illness. We will remember his determination, kindness, and loyalty with admiration and gratitude. Stowe was humble and kind to the end, setting a fine, bright example for all who were privileged to know him.