Catoosa County Probate Judge Gene Lowery died Wednesday night from melanoma, a dangerous type of skin cancer that had metastasized, or spread, through his body.
"It started in his foot. When it got into his lymph nodes, that's when it turned bad," said Keith Bates, chief court administrator for the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit.
Lowery collapsed a few weeks ago at a mandatory judge's training in Athens, Ga., and was flown to a cancer center in Washington, D.C. that specializes in melanoma.
"They said there was nothing they could do," Bates said.
Ringgold Municipal Court Judge Robert Stultz will be appointed this afternoon as interim probate judge, Bates said. Stultz also serves as city attorney for Fort Oglethorpe.
The probate court judge position will be added to the ballot in November to permanently fill Lowery's seat.
Lowery was a deacon and Sunday school teacher at Peavine Baptist Church in Rock Spring. The funeral will be held there.
"I have a feeling it's going to be packed to the walls," said Bates, who's a member of the church that has about 1,000 worshipers come each Sunday.
Lowery is survived by his wife, Sandy, his son, Steven, his daughter, Casey, and a grandchild.
Read more in tomorrow's Times Free Press.
Tim Omarzu covers education for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California.