HOLYOKE – "A beautiful life that came to an end, he died as he lived, everyone's friend. In our hearts a memory will always be kept, of one we loved, and will never forget." Wade A. McDowell, Jr., 37, a resident of Holyoke and previously Northampton, passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012, at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Eastern Regional Medical Center in Philadelphia, Penn.
Born May 6, 1975, in Brooklyn, N.Y. to Wade A. and Janice (Thompson) McDowell, he was raised in Amherst, graduating from Amherst Regional High School in the Class of 1993. He attended St. Augustine's College in Raleigh, N.C. where he majored in accounting. While at Amherst, he played quarterback for the football team, and basketball. He brought the basketball team to Western Massachusetts championship in 1993.
He had been employed as a correctional officer at the Osbourne Correctional Facility in Somers, Conn. for the past 12 years, where he was presented with an award from the Governor for saving an inmate's life.
He enjoyed golf, music, cooking and most of all loved the N.Y. Giants, Yankees and L.A. Lakers.
He was so proud of purchasing his new home in Holyoke where he would sit, drink tea, enjoy time with his family and enjoy the views overlooking the Connecticut River Valley, often telling his wife and childhood sweetheart, Kimberly, that they had achieved the American Dream.
He leaves his wife of 16 years, Kimberly (Jackson) McDowell, a teacher at Palmer High School and their daughter Kaley Aaliyah McDowell of Holyoke; his parents, Wade A. Sr. and Janice (Thompson) McDowell, formerly of Amherst and now of Springfield; his brother, Talib McDowell and his wife Joan and their children Talib, Jr. and Sarafina of Atlanta, Ga.; his grandparents, Rona Thompson of Amherst and Edna McDowell of Brooklyn, N.Y.; a great-grandmother, Evelyn C. White; his mother and father-in-law, Gloria and Dennis Jackson of Northampton; brother-in-law, Jamahl Jackson of Boston and his son David Rashad and sister-in-law, Millicent Jackson of South Deerfield; his aunt, Regina McDowell-Evans and her husband Tamari and her children Tyrell, Imani, Toni-Taila and Tequila Marie; his aunt, Dawn Thompson, mother to Noni Kai and Edward; and Uncle Claude Earl Wiggins of Louisburg, N.C.; and many other relatives in the McDowell and Jackson families.
His family and many dear friends are cordially invited to a memorial service honoring his life to be held in the auditorium of his Alma Mater, Amherst Regional High School, 21 Matoon St. on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, at 11 a.m. where New England Funeral & Cremation Center, LLC 25 Mill St., Springfield, has been entrusted with the arrangements.
For those who wish, memorial contributions may be made to Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Assistance in Health Care, Brian McEvilly, 1331 East Wyoming Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19124. For further details, telephone (413)733-1522 or visit www.nefcc.net.
To sign a Guest Book, express condolences, share memories and read other obituaries, go to www.gazettenet.com/obituaries.