La Grande, Oregon
William Carrington Dowdy, 83, of La Grande, died Nov. 24 at a local care center.
A celebration of life service will begin at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the United Methodist Church in La Grande. Private burial will be at the Grandview Cemetery. Viewing will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday at Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande.
Dr. Dowdy was born Dec. 21, 1922, in Yakima, Wash., the son of William and Edna (Whitenack) Dowdy.
In 1942 he joined the Army and was deployed to the Pacific Theater as a combat infantryman in the 96th Infantry Division. He saw action in Leyte, Samar, Okinawa and other islands in the Philippines. He was awarded the Bronze Star of Heroism. After his honorable discharge, from active service in December 1945, he joined the U.S. Army Reserves as first lieutenant in the Dental Corps.
Following his active military service he attended the University of Oregon Dental School, graduating in 1950. While attending dental school, he met Christina M. Seidel and they were married in 1947.
Dr. Dowdy moved his family to La Grande in 1950 and began his dental practice. He retired in 1986.
Dr. Dowdy was very active in La Grande throughout his life. He was an active member of the La Grande Methodist Church, holding various pastoral and leadership positions, even serving as a certified lay speaker, and made presentation throughout the Grande Ronde Valley.
Dr. Dowdy’s sense of service to others forged by his strong Christian beliefs and honored in his service to his country during World War II, further showed in his civic activities.
He became a member of the La Grande Rotary Club. For his years of service he was honored with a Paul Harris Fellowship. He was also a member of the La Grande Methodist Church Foundation and was a church trustee. For his service to the community he was named Volunteer of the Year in 1996.
Dr. Dowdy loved the outdoors. He was an avid tennis player and enjoyed fishing and hunting.
In appreciation of mother nature, Dr. Dowdy was a birding enthusiast and co-founded the Grande Ronde Bird Club. His love of nature extended to visiting schools, youth programs and granges to make presentations on the eco-system and wildlife of the Grande Ronde Valley.
Growing up in the orchards of the Yakima Valley, he continued his passion for growing fruits and vegetables, particularly grafting apple varieties to his favorite tree at his La Grande residence.
He was an energetic hiker, and with his companion dogs, roamed the foothills of the Grande Ronde Valley and walked the Oregon Trail. He and his family enjoyed annual harvesting of wild mushrooms and huckleberry picking at Kamela and Mount Emily. Dr. Dowdy was a caring and gentle Christian gentleman who made service to others his life’s work.
Dr. Dowdy is survived by his wife of La Grande; children and spouses, Judith and Dan Schwenk of Vancouver, Wash., Kathryn and Ron Eggers of Lake Oswego, Nancy and John Schassen of La Pine, Richard and Jamie of Canby, Patricia and Baxter Dyer of Bend and Steven and Teresa Dowdy of La Grande; 10 grandchildren; five great grandchildren and other relatives and friends.
Memorial contributions may be made to the La Grande United Methodist Church Memorial Fund or to the United Methodist Church Foundation in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande 97850.
The Observer, Obituaries for the week ending Nov. 25, 2006, Published: November 25, 2006