MAF Pioneer Hobey Lowrance Passes Away At Age 92

Hobey and Olivia with two of their three sons and two Ecuadorian women, 1958.
Hobey and Olivia with two of their three sons and two Ecuadorian women, 1958.

Hobert “Hobey” Lowrance died on Friday, February 7, in Yorba Linda, California. He was 92.

Hobey was born in 1921 and became an American Airlines pilot at age 21. During WWII he flew military transports as a civilian. Hobey became a Christian through the influence of other believing pilots and felt called to Christian service.

Hobey was one of MAF’s earliest staff members, joining the ministry in 1948. He flew many of the early survey flights that allowed MAF to establish flight operations in Latin America. He served with MAF in Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Honduras, Mexico, and Indonesia, as well as at ministry headquarters in California.

Gene Jordan, MAF vice president of Human Resources, says of Hobey, “He was gifted with an analytical mind, and travelled extensively around MAF’s world evaluating potential flight programs and providing pilot fill-in.”

Hobey was serving with MAF in Ecuador in 1949 when he met his wife, Olivia, a nurse. Hobey and Olivia retired from MAF in 1986.

Hobey was instrumental in developing MAF’s flight training and safety programs that subject pilots to the many challenging conditions they are likely to encounter while flying in unfriendly terrain and weather conditions. Many MAF pilots recall being evaluated by Hobey.

“Hobey was the flight instructor for my MAF evaluation in Ramona, California, in 1976,” recalls former MAF pilot Jeff Nelson. “Marilee and I stayed for a time in the little trailer beside the Lowrances’ home and Hobey shared part of his life with me as well as the flight training. I learned from Hobey the importance of a stable approach and also a healthy enjoyment of life. His account of how he would bracket a destination on a river in Brazil after flying for hours over featureless jungle came back to me when I needed it.”

A memorial service is planned for March 1 at 10:30 a.m. at the Richfield Community Church, 5320 Richfield Road, Yorba Linda, California, 92886.

Please join the MAF community in praying for Hobey’s family while rejoicing in his life of faithful service.

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