Barbara Beck Lord passed away on Tuesday, September 21, 2021, after a two-year battle with cancer. She went peacefully in her sleep, at her Chattanooga home that she loved.
Barbara was born on Dec. 5, 1937, in Troy, Alabama. She graduated from, and later taught at, Auburn University where she met and married Carlisle Towery.
The couple moved to New York City in 1961, then to Germany for two years of military service, where her two children were born. Returning to New York in 1963, she began a successful career in graphic design, serving as principal designer for Regional Plan Association’s several prominent publications, including RPA’s Second Regional Plan.
In 1977 she moved to Boston with second husband Perry Lord. She and Perry moved to Chattanooga in 1986 to develop the Freight Depot and Perry’s Restaurant. They eventually retired at her parents’ home in Fort Walton Beach, Fl., and then moved back to Chattanooga in 2017 to be closer to her children.
Barbara was an exceptionally talented artist and had a long, successful professional career as a graphic designer, including several years as partner/founder of Lord and Welanetz marketing company, and Lord Communications in Boston.
She was a lover of the arts and regularly attended the opera, symphony, ballet and was a museum enthusiast. She enjoyed listening to music, taking ballet classes and was a talented visual and graphic artist. Her philanthropic endeavors also reached a variety of arts organizations, especially those invested in training future artists. Barbara and Perry Lord were well-known leaders in the Fort Walton Beach, Florida community. Barbara became involved with the Northwest Florida Ballet serving as a volunteer, president of the board, and finally executive director of the organization. Her leadership proved integral in helping the company achieve its goal to build a state of the art facility in the downtown area and also played a major role in the company’s groundbreaking educational efforts providing free academic and art education through the NFB Academie. Barbara was a founding member of Okaloosa Public Arts in Fort Walton Beach. She was truly invested in arts education and enjoyed hearing about the accomplishments of the young artists she supported.
She was a founder of that area’s Impact 100 group, funding non-profits in need. In Chattanooga she served on the board of directors of the Chattanooga Ballet, and was affiliated with the Performing Arts League.
She is survived by her sister, Charlotte Beck Jones, (husband Tom Jones), and her two children, Michael Beck Towery and Leslie (Lee) Carlisle Towery.
A celebration of Barbara’s life may follow in the future when gatherings are safer.
Donations in her honor can be made to McKamey Animal Center, 4500 North Access Road, Chattanooga, Tn. 37415.
Arrangements are by Wann Funeral & Cremation Center at the foot of historic Lookout Mountain, St. Elmo, 423 821-7551.
Share your memories, stories and photos at wannfuneralhome.com.