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January 1, 1927 - February 20, 2013 NORMAN Beverly Harris Dowell was the first child born in Houston, Texas, on January 1, 1927. She spent most of her childhood in Texas, attending school in both Austin and Laredo. By age eight, she spoke both Spanish and English with equal fluency. With the help of her mother, a former math teacher and high school principal, she developed a gift for reading. At over 500 words per minute, she could read most novels in less than two hours. She graduated from Stephen's College in Missouri with an Associate Degree in art. Before her marriage in 1946 to the late Maj. Richard S. Dowell Jr., she had worked briefly as a commercial artist. Being married to an USAF pilot, her career took a back seat while she bore an raised four sons and two daughters. In addition to the responsibilities of a "stay-at-home mother," she had the additional responsibility of organizing multiple family relocations: first to Hampton Roads, VA; then to Bambridge, GA; then to Enid, OK, then to Vacaville, CA; then to Atwater, CA; then to Bangor, ME; then to Winter Park, FL; then to Miles City, MT; then to Kansas City, MO; and upon the Major's retirement, to Muskogee, OK. In 1968, she began working for the Veterans Administration, from which she retired in 1990. Just two months later, at age 63, bored with retirement, she went to work for Dowell Properties, a real estate investment company her son, Rick Dowell, had founded in 1988. As this company grew, her talent in art and design, along with her organizational skills, were critical to the development of the organization. Wearing three hats: "Chief Financial Officer," design coordinator, and manager of the commercial properties in Norman, she was a busy woman. Her artistic flair can be seen in the lobby of the Midtown Plaza, the modern house design of 514 College, the Clarendon Park Shopping Center, Charleston Apartments, and Bishop's Landing Apartments in Norman, along with the 15-acre Midtown Plaza Development in downtown OKC. Even with such a hectic work life, she always made time to mentor and care for her children. She was a member of St. Joseph's Old Cathedral in OKC and the Daughters of the American Revolution in Norman. Like many women of her generation, she never won an award or received any formal accolades; but to her children, she will be remembered as the best mother you could ever have, and to the many people that knew her, one of the nicest people they ever met. We will all miss you greatly. There is certainly a place in heaven for such a kind and remarkable person. She is survived by her six children: Rick Dowell, Fred Dowell, and Kimberly Steed, of Norman; James Dowell, of Prague; Chris Dowell, of Muskogee; and Barbara Stowe, of Atlanta, GA. She is also survived by her sister, Shirley Croisant, of Tulsa; two grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. A chapel funeral service will begin at 2 p.m. Wednesday, February 27, 2013, in The Chapel of the Havenbrook Funeral Home, 3401 Havenbrook Street in Norman. Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 2 p.m. Thursday, February 28, 2013, at St. Joseph's Old Cathedral at 307 NW 4th Street in Oklahoma City. Entombment will conclude in the Rose Hill Burial Park, 6001 NW Grand Blvd. in Oklahoma City. Arrangements for Beverly and her family were placed in the care of the Vice family at the Havenbrook Funeral Home of Norman. Online condolences may be shared at

Funeral Home
Havenbrook Funeral Home
3401 Havenbrook Street Norman, OK 73072
(405) 329-0101
Published in The Oklahoman on Feb. 24, 2013
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