OLEAN, N.Y. - Lorraine Shirley McDowell passed away on (Sept. 16, 2012) after a courageous battle with multiple myeloma. She was born July 11, 1962, in Syracuse, N.Y.
She grew up in Emporium, where she graduated from Cameron County (Pa.) High School in 1981. Lori attended Houghton College, earned a bachelor's degree in social work from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, Pa., and worked as an advocate for victims of domestic violence and with the Pennsylvania State University Cooperative Extension as an advocate for at risk children.
Later, she went back to the Pitt-Bradford campus to gain an education degree. In recent years, Lori taught sixth and seventh grade science at the Culpeper Middle School in Culpeper, Va., after several years teaching elementary school in Rappahanock County. She loved being an educator, enjoyed the friendships of her colleagues and took great joy in seeing her students learn and grow.
Lori's son, Leo, was the center of her life. She took great pride in him, and enjoyed every moment they could spend together. She also loved to read, was the "queen of Sodoku" and loved to spend time with friends and family. She will be remembered for her unbridled laughter and sense of humor, storytelling ability and her love of family and friends.
Lori is survived by her son, Leo; her mother, Freda McDowell Griffith; her three brothers, Daniel (Terri) McDowell, Timothy (Katie) McDowell and John McDowell; two sisters, Pamela (Rodney) Rees and Susan (Isaac) Smith; as well as her beloved aunts, uncles and numerous cousins.
She was preceded in death by her father, Walter Earl McDowell; and her beloved grandparents, Theodore and Muriel McDowell.
Services will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday at the First Baptist Church in Emporium. The family will receive visitors immediately following the service in the fellowship hall.
To honor Lori, the family requests that donations be made in her name to the Multiple Myeloma Foundation or the University of Virginia Emily Couric Cancer Center or to her son's college education fund through any of her surviving family members.