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 a 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 22 years later he found himself still serving his country. As Don 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 still in short supply. Having only 90 days to re-enlist and maintain the same rank and pay, he, 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 4 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 BSBA from Tusculum College in 1986.
Don 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. Interment will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens with full military honors. A white dove release will conclude the service.
The family will receive friends from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, at the funeral home.
The family suggests donations be made to American Legion Post 81, 227 James Asbury Drive N.W., Cleveland TN 37312, for the Forty & Eight nursing scholarship program.
We invite you to send a message of condolence and view the Dowdy family guest book at www.ralphbuckner.com