M. Clyde Low 1921 - 2009
April 4, 2009
M. Clyde Low, a local historian, environmentalist, activist and artist, passed away on Sunday, March 29, 2009. He was 87.
Mr. Low was instrumental in assisting the City of Fairfield with a documentary video project in 2004. This video project was created to help celebrate Fairfield’s Centennial as an incorporated city. Mr. Low appeared in the very beginning of the hour long documentary, in a segment which highlighted the early native Americans of the area.
Copy of Obituary as published in the Fairfield Daily Republic Newspaper
July 30, 1921 — March 29, 2009
He is survived by his wife, Diane Low; daughters, Wendy Low and Robin Low; son-in-law, Glenn Keyser; grandson, Theodore Keyser; and brother, Victor Low.
Mr. Low was well-known in the community as a historian and he was often the go-to guy for journalists and researchers interested in the history of Solano County. His stories about Chief Solano, the Dingley Mill, and other issues of local historical interest have graced a number of local newspapers and magazines during the past 30 years, including The Solano Historian.
It is for this work, as well as for his profound love of the natural world and his advocacy for open space, that Mr. Low wished to be remembered.
Mr. Low (whose first name was Max but who went by Clyde) was born in New York City in 1921, the son of a doctor and the youngest of four siblings. World War II interrupted studies at Columbia University so he joined the Army where he supervised translation of Japanese documents. After the war, he served on active duty in Japan as a lecturer and promoter of democracy. When he returned he completed his master’s degree in international relations at Columbia University and worked as a foreign affairs officer for the State Department and the U.S. Information Agency. Afterward, he began graduate work at UCLA in education where he met his future wife.
The two moved to Northern California where he taught social studies at community colleges, studied the teaching of fine arts and crafts, and received his librarianship credential. They moved to Vallejo where he began a more than 30-year stint as reference librarian at Solano Community College. They moved to Green Valley in 1970 where they raised their family. It was at this time that Clyde began to do the research that would become his life’s work. It was also at this time that Clyde became politically active in the area, beginning a fight that would continue until his last days, to persuade the citizens of Solano County to preserve important natural habitats and open space. He also helped found the Solano Archives Commission and was an active member of the Solano Historical Society.
Clyde knew the names of all the local fauna and flora by heart and was a passionate hiker and explorer of the area. He was a painter, potter, poet and prose stylist. He was a father and a friend. He will be missed.
Arrangements by Bryan-Braker Funeral Home, 425-4697.