Tracy Kathryn Lower, M.D., of Springfield, Illinois passed away on Friday, April 30, 2021 from complications of pneumonia. She was born in Champaign, IL, May 28, 1962, the daughter of William and Betty Smith Lower. She was preceded in death by her maternal and paternal grandparents, her mother, several aunts and uncles, and a cousin. Survivors include her father, William Lower of Terre Haute, IN; her twin brother Bill (Brenda) of Terre Haute, IN; her brother Rob (Ebbie) of Imperial, MO; her niece Courtney Littrell (Justin); twin nephews Willie Lower and Matthew Lower; and several cousins and grand-nieces and nephews.
Tracy graduated valedictorian from Pontiac Township High School, Pontiac, IL in 1980. After receiving her B.A. from Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, IL in 1984, she began her medical studies at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Carbondale/Springfield, receiving her M.D. with institutional honors in 1988. After completing her residency, she joined the faculty of SIU in the Pediatrics Department attaining the rank of full professor.
During her tenure at SIU Dr. Lower filled many positions and accomplished many firsts. She was the director of Undergraduate Pediatric Education for 13 years and Director of Year 4 Curriculum for 16 years. In 2012 she was promoted to the rank of Full Professor, the first woman to do so in the Pediatrics Department. She founded the Pediatrics Hospitalist service and directed the program for 11 years.
For her work in medical education, Dr. Lower received many honors. She received the Pediatrics Chairman Award in 2010 and was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year in 2011. She was voted to hood the graduating classes of both 2005 and 2014. In 2016 she received the prestigious Humanism in Medicine Award. While appreciating all the honors, her greatest satisfaction came from being a leader, mentor, and teacher for countless medical students, residents, and attending physicians.
In addition to her commitment to medical education, she was especially interested in child welfare. She served many years on the board of Prevent Child Abuse Illinois. Her outside interests included music, travel and reading. She especially enjoyed activities involving her family.
Tracy's family is especially grateful for the medical staff and her many friends and colleagues who helped during Tracy's illness. Final arrangements are with Ellinger-Kunz and Park, Springfield, IL. Her family is planning a memorial service at a later date. Donations in her memory may be made to Illinois Wesleyan for pre-med scholarships, Prevent Child Abuse Illinois, or a charity of the donor's choice.