John F. Lowndes
The attorneys and staff at Lowndes are deeply mourning the loss of our Founding Shareholder and dear friend John F. Lowndes, who passed away on February 12, 2021, from heart complications. He was 90.
Born January 1, 1931, in Medford, Massachusetts, but raised in Durham, North Carolina, John moved to central Florida following his service in the United States Marine Corps and graduation from Duke University with Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees. He, along with three other partners, started the firm that would later become Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A., in a leased office space in downtown Orlando in 1969. The firm would grow to become one of Florida’s largest law firms, with its landmark headquarters located on North Eola Drive and additional offices in Melbourne and Mount Dora.
Over his long and distinguished legal career of more than 50 years, John focused his practice on real estate transactions, development and finance. He partnered with builders Lester Mandell, Lester Zimmerman and Jack Lazar in Greater Construction Corp., a development company that was sold in 2005 to nationally traded Meritage Homes. He represented lenders and major real estate developers and played an integral role in shaping Orlando and the surrounding area into the vibrant region that it is today. An unparalleled teacher, mentor and inspiration to the firm’s attorneys and staff, he set the standard for client service and demonstrated a commitment to the community, setting an example for which the firm has become known. Despite his busy law practice, John found time to chair the boards of the Orlando Museum of Art, Winter Park Memorial Hospital (now AdventHealth Winter Park), the Winter Park Health Foundation, the Friends of the Mennello Museum, the UCF College of Business Administration and the UCF Foundation.
A passionate supporter of the community and the arts, John and his wife, Rita, created a legacy of service and giving to numerous local organizations, including a generous contribution that led to the construction of the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center. John had a quick wit and great sense of humor, but will best be remembered for his love of his family and friends, dedication to his clients and the firm and his commitment to the local community. John will be missed by so many.
John is survived by his beloved wife of 37 years, Rita; his loving children Elizabeth (Dan), Amy (John), John Patrick (Julie), Joe (Priscilla), and Jennifer (Tim) and his 10 adored grandchildren. Our deepest sympathies go to his entire family.
William E. Doster
We are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend and name partner, William E. "Bill" Doster, who passed away May 12, 2021.
Instrumental in shaping and fostering Lowndes’ culture of client service, mutual support and hard work, Bill and recently departed founding partner John Lowndes together developed the firm’s guiding principles of conduct, professionalism, practice and collegiality that have inspired generations of Lowndes lawyers to live up to the standards they set. Bill’s love for the firm was obvious and he took great pride in its success and the accomplishments of the attorneys.
Consistently listed among "Best Lawyers in America," "Florida's Top Lawyers," and "Florida’s Legal Elite," Bill’s colleagues and peers regarded him as one of the best real estate lawyers in Central Florida. His reputation for zealous representation, attention to detail, hard work, and high ethical standards is legendary and made him a trusted advisor and friend to many high-powered clients. Passionate about helping developers turn their dreams into reality, Bill worked with the University of Central Florida to create Central Florida Research Park and helped Arnold Palmer develop the golf legend’s dream community, Isleworth Golf and Country Club, to name just two of his many achievements.
In addition to his many accomplishments as a lawyer, Bill also served his community as a long-time member of the board of directors of the Orlando Regional Healthcare Foundation and as past chairman of both the Board of Zoning Adjustment and the Planning and Zoning Commission for the City of Winter Park.
Not only will Bill be remembered for his professionalism, work ethic and sense of humor, but his legacy, influence and spirit will live on at Lowndes. Our heartfelt sympathies to his wife, Leslie, and all of his family and friends. May he rest in peace.