Meet neighbor Helen Lowman, a born and raised Texan. If you want to know the history of this area, ask Helen! At age 5, Helen moved with her family to her grandparents’ 1,000-acre ranch in San Marcos. The ranch, family-owned since the 1940s, was part of what is now Kissing Tree. The remains of an actual stagecoach stop stood on the ranch for many years. In the 1970s, Helen’s parents designed their new home as a replica of the stagecoach stop. If you had been in the area at that time, you might have seen Helen building rock fences, riding her horse down Hunter Road, or taking her doll for a walk in her stroller.
Helen became a student of international studies, which led to her love of traveling and immersion in other cultures. While working her way through high school and college, Helen won a travel abroad scholarship from her employer, McDonald’s Restaurant Corporation. As Helen still needed to work to pay for school, she realized she might not be able to accept the National award. Fortunately, Helen’s local employer, McDonald’s Restaurant in San Marcos, stepped forward and offered to continue to pay Helen’s wages while she traveled overseas.
Travel was important to Helen, and she was able to connect work with her passion. After graduating college, she became a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand. The Peace Corps became her career, and she was later offered the position of Country Director in China and Mongolia. The White House asked Helen to be a Presidential Appointee for the Peace Corps, overseeing operations in Asia, Europe, Northern Africa, and the Middle East. She was then promoted to oversee direct recruitment and placement of Peace Corps volunteers for the entire world! After the position ended, Helen still wanted to make a difference. She led the Keep America Beautiful program as President and CEO until her recent retirement.
After moving to the Fannin neighborhood in Kissing Tree in February of 2021, Helen expressed her happiness to be back home, surrounded by family and friends. Helen feels it is the people that make KT so great. Although cooking and traveling keep her busy, she continues to share her expertise and lend a hand with her past work programs.
Next time you see Helen, say hello to our resident volunteer and world explorer!
Special thanks to KT resident Lisa Breaux, who first wrote this column for our resident newsletter.