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William Dowdy


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William Dowdy Obituary
William Dowdy

Battle Creek

William "Bill" Dowdy, 84, died Friday, May 12, 2017.

Mr. Dowdy, son of the late Walter L. Ane Ora Lee Dowdy, was born August 15, 1932, in Osceola, Arkansas, and moved with his family to Benton Harbor, Michigan. He graduated from the Public Schools. While in high school he and some friends formed a group named 'Club 49 Trio", after preforming in the high school follies, they landed a thirty minute spot every Saturday on a local radio station. He later played with the Rupert Harris Band.

He served in the United States Army and received an Honorable Discharge in 1954. He studied music at Roosevelt University, Chicago, Illinois and Knapp's School of Percussion. He was the drummer for The Three Sounds, they recorded more than ten albums. They played with, Lest Young, Lou Donaldson, Nat Adderley, Johnny Griffin, Anita O'Day, Sonny Stitt and other jazz musicians. The group recorded for Riverside Records before signing an exclusive contract with Blue Note in New York. He came to Battle Creek in 1966, was employed by Grinnells Music Store  and Farrow's Music, before opening Bill Dowdy Music Enterprises in 1969.

"Bill" was a member of Second Missionary Baptist Church, where he served as a musician. In the community, he served on the Battle Creek Chamber of Commerce Board, Battle Creek Symphony Board and was a Charter Member of Battle Creek Unlimited. He was Past President of the Downtown Development Association and Past President of Calhoun County Black Business and Professional Association.

Survivors include daughters, Beverly Dowdy and Billyne Dowdy both of Battle Creek, brothers, Walter (Roberta) Dowdy, Huntington, Tennessee, Joe (Mattie) Dowdy, Elkton, Maryland, sisters, Vivian Robbins, Della Roberts, Cecelia Taggart all of Battle Creek, Ora Rhodes, Abbie Gray both of Benton Harbor, grandchildren, Khiry I. Dowdy, Jamayl J. Dowdy. He was preceded in death by his former wife, Beatrice Dowdy and sister, Rosie Wright.

The family will receive friends, 11:00 a.m. Monday, May 22, 2017, Second Missionary Baptist Church. Services 12:00 p.m., Pastor William Wyne, Officiating.

Arrangements, T M Hughes-Perry Mortuary, LLC
Published in Battle Creek Enquirer on May 20, 2017
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