Although the cause of his death is under investigation, it was not due to enemy contact or friendly fire, said 1st Sgt. Christopher S. Gasser, the Golf Battery first sergeant with 2nd Bn., 11th Marines.

Lowry’s death came as a surprise to his peers, who didn’t expect his untimely death, as they had gone through combat together and patrolled through hills and valleys littered with improvised explosive devices, said Malcolm, a 23-year-old native of Anaheim, Calif.

“The death of Cpl. Lowry is tragic in a different way because it’s unexpected,” said Navy Lt. Marlin L. Williams, the 2nd Bn. chaplain with 11th Marines.

Many of the Marines had difficulty believing the news of Lowry’s death, explained Malcolm. His peers kept the light on in his room that night of his death, hoping he would return. The memorial service helped people to accept Lowry’s passing, as many of them had difficulty realizing what happened because he was such a well-known and prominent Marine in the unit.

“You couldn’t help but know him, said Williams. He was 6 foot 5 inches and had a bird’s nest for a haircut. Everybody’s gonna know who the big guy is. He stood out because of his happy-go-lucky personality, and he never complained.”

Lowry is remembered as a comedian around the unit, telling jokes in his loud, Chicago, Irish accent that would ease the tension in the most difficult situations, said Cpl. Christian Huerta, a cannon crewman and fire team leader who served with Lowry and Malcolm for nearly four years at Golf Battery, 2nd Bn., 11th Marines. Lowry could run three miles in 17 minutes, and he had natural athletic talent, playing most sports and being very competitive.

No matter how bad conditions were, Lowry was able to make light of it, added Huerta, a fellow Chicago native. The corporals here lived next to a gun line of M777 lightweight howitzers, and during several fire missions, the explosions rattled the windows and shook the building. Plaster crumpled off the walls and debris floated throughout the room.

“Great, why wouldn’t it” Lowry said with sarcastic facial expression as dust floated through the air, recounted Huerta.