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James O. McDowell, born in San Antonio, TX, on August 11, 1929, passed away peacefully on October 16, 2013. Jim, known affectionately to family as Poppy, was preceded in death by Mary, his loving wife and partner of 57 years. He is survived by his daughter Barbara Burger and son-in-law Bruce, his son Jerry McDowell and daughter-in-law Tara, his sister Dee Dee Waguespack, grandchildren Jimmy Armstrong, Ryan McDowell, Casey McDowell, Cory McDowell, Jordan Burger, and Morgan Burger, great-granddaughter Brenna, and an extended, loving family.
Poppy's life was filled with a spirit of service and love of family and travel. He grew up in Brackettville, TX, and came of age in the era just after the Great Depression. In these hard times, he learned to be self-sufficient: later he became a world-class do-it-yourself man. Almost everyone in the family has a gadget made by Poppy.
A teenager when the US entered World War II, he talked his parents into approving under-age enlistment in the US Marine Corps where he served honorably in the Pacific Theater and China at the end of the War. He returned to San Antonio, met Mary, started a family and eventually began a career as a Civil Servant for the US Air Force from which he retired at Kelly AFB after more than 30 years of Service.
One of his greatest joys was road trips by car: he had a longing, the pull of a hobo spirit, to get over the next hill. He and Mary travelled widely visiting family from East coast to West coast and any place that offered a new adventure. His family takes solace that he is reunited with Mary again, dancing together through heaven. And after that dance is done, he's likely to take on St Peter in a game of Wahoo or Gin Rummy: he did love to win and compete!
The family is grateful to all who expressed their love and took time to visit him in the last few months, and for the outstanding medical professionals who cared for him for nearly two decades. We all take comfort in knowing that the pain he endured, and did he ever have a will to live, is now set aside in the glory of the Lord. Ever the handy man and fixer-upper, we all hope he is not repairing heaven.
Visitation will be at 9:00 am on Saturday, October 19, at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, 4201 De Zavala Rd, followed with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 am. A celebration of his life will be held in the Parish Hall at 11:30 am. Pallbearers are Jimmy Armstrong, Ryan McDowell, Cory McDowell, Craig McDowell, Randy Moore, and Steve McGuire. Honorary pallbearers are David Hand, Bubba House, and Richard Smith.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to the hospice facility, Vitas Community Connection (vitascommunityconnection.org). Funeral arrangements by Funeral Caring USA. The interment will follow at Mission Park South Cemetery.
To leave a memorial tribute for the family, please log on to www.funeralcaringusa.com
Funeral Caring USA Funeral Home, Inc.
6902 NE Loop 410
San Antonio, TX 78219
Published in Express-News on Oct. 18, 2013