Rear Adm. Charles E. McDowell retired

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  • "Dear Aunt Candy, All my love and prayers go out to you and..."
  • - Chris Belcher
  • "Mimi, I have admired and respected your dad since junior..."
    - Anne Schiller
  • "Charlie--I will never forget you and all you did for me and..."
    - Paul Fortino
  • "Dear Candy, I am so sorry to hear about Charlie. Betty and..."
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ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Rear Adm. (JAGC) Charles E. McDowell, USN (retired), of Alexandria, passed away peacefully on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, surrounded by his family and devoted caregivers.

Born in Manchester, N.H., in 1923, he was the son of Joseph Curry McDowell from Belfast, Ireland, and Mildred Howe Eager, also of Manchester, N.H. He was a graduate of Dartmouth College (1947, Class of 1944) and the University of Virginia School of Law (1950).

During World War II, he served as the rifle platoon leader; 3rd Platoon, Company A, 27th Armored Infantry Battalion, 9th Armored Division; France, Belgium and Germany. He was wounded and hospitalized March 3, 1945. Three days later his platoon captured the Ludendorff Railway Bridge in Remagen, Germany. He served in the U.S. Navy as an attorney from 1951 until his retirement in 1980. During the height of the Vietnam War, he served as the head legal officer of the Seventh U.S. Fleet: Yokosuka, Japan. He went on to serve as the deputy judge advocate general of the Navy and then as the judge advocate general of the Navy from 1978-1980. Following his retirement from the Navy in 1980, he continued to practice law in Woodbridge, Va., until he retired in 1997.

For 36 years he and his wife lived in the Waynewood neighborhood in Alexandria. He was a member of Aldersgate United Methodist Church, where he was head of the church's kitchen committee. He found great joy in preparing Wednesday night church dinners and preparing meals for the Route One Community Kitchen. He and his wife were avid swimmers and square-dancers. He enjoyed reading, surf fishing and was a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 65 years, Carolyn "Candy" G. McDowell; daughters Robin (Bruce) Mathews of Alexandria, and Patricia "Mimi" (Tom) VanPoole of Arlington; grandchildren Kristi (Isaac) Maiselman of Washington, D.C., and Kevin (Amanda) Mathews of Richmond; great grandchildren Charles and Oliver Mathews of Richmond; sister in-law Carol McDowell of Manchester, N.H., and 10 nieces and nephews.


services: A memorial service will be held Saturday, Dec. 8, at 11 a.m. at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 1301 Collingwood Road, Alexandria. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675, or to Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 1301 Collingwood Road, Alexandria, VA 22308.

Published in Union Leader on Dec. 2, 2012
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