ane K. Lowe and her husband, Robert, developed Lowe Hereford Farm in Madison and Limestone Counties, Alabama, into a model farming and cattle operation. Following her husband's untimely death in 1951, Mrs. Lowe continued the family's farming business and built a significant investment portfolio. Mrs. Lowe was assisted by her brother, Charles W. Knight, until his death, and later, by her trusted friend and accountant, Billie R. Smith.
Mrs. Lowe was a generous benefactor and civic leader in the Huntsville community. She was a founder and life member of the Board of Trustees of Randolph School, an avid supporter and board member of the Huntsville/Madison County Public Library, and a generous contributor to the Huntsville Young Men's Christian Association. Mrs. Lowe was an anonymous patron of countless other civic and community projects.
Mrs. Lowe's interest in education was evidenced by numerous gifts to educational institutions. She established a Professorship of Medicine in Rheumatology, at the University of Alabama in Birmingham School of Medicine, and she established the Robert J. and Jane K. Lowe Endowed Scholarship at the University of Alabama School of Law.
When she died on August 21, 1997, at the age of 95, Mrs. Lowe perpetuated her generosity by giving most of her estate to the Jane K. Lowe Charitable Foundation. She named Billie R. Smith, W. F. Sanders, Jr., and John R. Wynn Trustees of the Foundation to carry out its charitable purposes and oversee the investments of trust assets. After many years of service to Mrs. Lowe and the Foundation, Mr. Smith retired in 2009. He named his son, Richard J. Smith, as his successor. Each year the Foundation distributes the greater of its net income or 5% of its value, as follows: 60% to six named charities and 40% to charitable organizations selected in the discretion of the Trustees. After 30 years, the Foundation will terminate and the assets of the Foundation will be distributed to the named charitable organizations. The named charitable organizations are University of Alabama at Birmingham, Randolph School, Agnes Scott College, Vanderbilt University, Huntsville Boys Club Trust and Endowment Fund, and Girls Incorporated of Huntsville.