Tragic Death

Founder of Dallas restaurant Celebration dies in tragic Big Bend fall

Founder of Dallas restaurant Celebration dies in tragic Big Bend fall

Ed Lowe Celebration
Celebration founder Ed Lowe, from a photo hanging at the restaurant. Courtesy photo

Ed Lowe, the founder of Celebration, the beloved Dallas home-cooking restaurant on Lovers Lane, died in a tragic accident at Big Bend National Park. He was 69.

According to a release from the National Parks Service, Lowe was on a five-day river trip through Boquillas Canyon, canoeing with four others, when he sustained a fatal fall.

While scouting a campsite about a mile downstream from the mouth of the canyon, Lowe reportedly fell headfirst off an embankment. He was unresponsive to life-saving efforts and CPR that the party administered.

Two others in the party canoed upstream to call for help. The release says that, at that time, the Rio Grande was flowing very swiftly, at nearly 800 cfs.

An interagency team, including Big Bend National Park rangers and U.S. Border Patrol agents, responded and recovered the body later that day.

Lowe was well known for his passion for hiking in nature and had even been a licensed guide in Big Bend, according to a 2014 interview in Edible Dallas/Fort Worth.

"I have always been interested in canoe trips," he said. "For four years I took middle school students on guided camping trips, and I spent several weeks a year doing that. I was a licensed guide in Big Bend for several years for Texas Water Trails. I like the outdoors and the environment, and our kids are very important so I’ve put a good bit of effort toward those areas."

A representative at Celebration said that Lowe at least died in a place that he loved, stating, "That takes the sting out of it, but we're all just trying to process it."

He was also a pioneer in the farm-to-table movement that has currently become a dominant trend in dining when he co-founded Celebration in March 1971. The restaurant has survived for 47 years, serving fresh vegetables and food in a family-style setting.

Many fans have shared their memories on the Dallas Morning News Facebook post about his death.

Services will be at Highland Park Methodist Church at 3300 Mockingbird Ln., on November 19 at 3 pm.