Don E. Dowdy, 75, a resident of Cleveland, passed away Friday, Jan. 11, 2013.
He was an exceptional father, grandfather and friend. He was of the Baptist faith.
He was preceded in death by parents, George and Francis Jackson Dowdy; and sister, Shirley Dowdy.
He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Alene Gardner Dowdy; three daughters: Joyce and husband, Steve Clark, of Chattanooga, Terry Dowdy, and Kathy and husband, Jeremy Timmerman, all of Cleveland; three grandchildren: Chase Clark, Kennedy Timmerman, and Emma Timmerman; one brother, Bob Dowdy; cousin, Tommie Sorg; and a host of friends and family
He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1955 with plans to serve his required three years, but things happened along the way, and 21 years later he found himself still serving his country. As he explained “When I finished high school, it was difficult to get a job, so I decided to enlist, serve my three years and get on with my life.” After his three-year stint was completed, he discovered that jobs outside the military were in short supply. Having only 90 days to re-enlist and maintain the same rank and pay, on the 89th day re-enlisted.
As a weapons specialist (CW03) for all types of weapons in the armament field, he served numerous tours of duty, including Korea, Vietnam and Germany. He earned the National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Army Commendation Medal (2nd Oak Leaf Cluster), Bronze Star Medal (1st Oak Leaf Cluster), Vietnam Service Medal with 1 Silver and 2 Bronze Stars, Vietnam Campaign Medal w60 Device, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry w/Pal and four Overseas Service Stars.
After his Army retirement in 1976, he took a second career at Duracell and retired a second time after 21 years of service in 2001. He earned his bachelor of science in business administration from Tusculum College in 1986.
He was a member of American Legion, the Forty & Eight, and was a supporter of the Forty & Eight nursing scholarship program.
The funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, in the chapel of Ralph Buckner Funeral Home with the Rev. Ed Eldredge and Jerry Timmerman officiating.
Interment will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens with full military honors.
Jeremy Timmerman, Chase Clark, Rick Simmering, Mark Hirshfeld, Albert Hirshfeld and Don Brown will serve as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers are Steve Clark, Gerald Gardner, Robert Dowdy, Bill Woody and Jimmy Meeks.
A white dove release will conclude the service.
The family will receive friends from 5 to 8 this evening at the funeral home.
The family suggests donations be made to American Legion Post 81, Forty & Eight Nursing Scholarship, 227 James Asbury Drive N.W., Cleveland TN 37312.
We invite you to send a message of condolence and view the Dowdy family guest book at www.ralphbuckner.com.