Lorenzo W. (Ren) Lowe, 81, director of the Senior Citizens Day Center of Arlington from 1964 to 1974, who was active in volunteer and church work, died Feb. 22 at his home in Arlington. He had Parkinson's disease.

Mr. Lowe attended business school in Missouri and served in the Marines for three years before returning to his native Kansas in the mid-1920s. After working for International Harvester as an advertising executive and retail dealer, he retired in the mid-1940s to pursue volunteer work with the Presbyterian Church. He was a church moderator and elder in Kansas.

About 1950, he went to Baltimore and studied at the old Koinonia Foundation. Koinonia, a private church-sponsored organization, trained persons for service abroad. Mr. Lowe spent two years in South America, where he helped on farm machinery salvage and repair projects with the Point Four program, before moving to Washington in 1957.

For the next seven years, Mr. Lowe served as a special assistant to the Rev. Dr. Frank Charles Laubach, organizer of Laubach Literacy Inc. Dr. Laubach was a leader in the fight against illiteracy in the Third World and was famed for his "Each One, Teach One" phonetic reading system. His method helped teach 60 million people to read and his works were printed in 312 languages.

Mr. Lowe became director of the Senior Citizens Day Center, located at the First Presbyterian Church in Arlington, when the Laubach organization moved to Syracuse, N.Y. Mr. Lowe was a member of the Arlington church.

Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Hermenia, of Arlington; a sister, Evelyn Lowe Rose of California; a half-sister, Lela Whiteford of Independence, Mo.; six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Mr. and Mrs. Lowe's daughter, Janice Lowe Taylor, died in 1974.