John S. McDowell(1925 - 2013)

John S. McDowell April 30, 1925 - June 8, 2013 John Shirley McDowell, 88, passed away suddenly Saturday, June 8, 2013 at his board and care facility in Bakersfield, CA. John was born April 30, 1925 to John and Effie McDowell in Damascus, Georgia, the youngest of three children. John and his sisters, Julia and Christine, were orphaned at an early age and raised in an orphanage in Fullerton, California. He graduated from Fullerton High School and was attending Fullerton Junior College prior to being inducted into the U.S. Army. He served in the European Theatre as a mechanic for the Corp of Engineers from 1944 to 1946. Upon his return he worked various jobs until he was employed by the Kern County Fire Department in 1949. In 1950 he was recalled to service for the Korean War for two years. After being discharged, he returned to his career with the fire service, where he served for 28 years, retiring at the rank of Captain. He met his beautiful bride, Claire Schaefermeyer, and they were married in 1957, and enjoyed 42 years together prior to Claire's death in 1998. John had three sons, Mark, Bruce, (and Steven from a prior marriage who passed away in 1964). He is survived by his sons, Bruce McDowell, Mark McDowell and his wife Audrey. John was very active with his sons, the Boy Scouts of America, and many other community projects in Wasco, CA. He was also president of the Kern County Firefighter's Union, Local 1301, for a term, where he worked diligently to better the retirement system. Upon retirement from the fire department, John continued to stay employed. He studied, tested and became a tax preparer, and worked 9 summer fire seasons with Claire as a fire lookout at the Bald Mountain Lookout on the Sequoia National Forest. John was a "people person" and enjoyed conversation and making new friends. He was always there for his friends and family. The family would like to express special thanks to the staff and owners of Divine Mercy Guest Home in Bakersfield where dad has resided since 2007. His care there was excellent and he continued to enjoy making friends with the other residents, staff and their families. Visitation 2 to 8 p.m. June 13, Peters Funeral Home; graveside service 10:00 a.m. June 14, Wasco Memorial park, Peters Funeral Home, Wasco.

Funeral Home

Peters Funeral Home - Wasco
1401 7th Street  Wasco, CA 93280
661 758-5144

Published in Bakersfield Californian on June 12, 2013