Washburn McReavy Funeral Chapels Edina Chapel
5000 West 50th Street (at Highway 100)
Edina, MN 55436
(952) 920-3996
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Gary Donald McDOWELL

Gary Donald McDOWELL Obituary
Born in Rapid City, SD in 1939 to Donald McDowell and Helen (Queeney) McDowell, passed away on Thursday January 9, 2020. Gary grew up in the Black Hills of SD and then graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1961 where he was a member of the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity. After graduation he was commissioned into the United State Navy. He served as a Naval Squadron aviation intelligence officer as part of the East Coast replacement AD-Skyraider group. Upon completion of active duty, Gary joined the Naval Reserve Intelligence Program, serving for 27 more years. During his service, Gary was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, the highest award given during peace time, for his distinguished Naval career. In 1967 he was asked to return to active duty as a Naval Intelligence Officer at NAS Cubi Point, Navy Base Subic Bay, in the Philippines, where he briefed the Chief of Naval Operations during the Vietnam War. He retired as a Captain in the Navy after 30 years of service. Gary received his law degree from the University of Minnesota. He was proud to be a member of the extraordinary law class of 1968. Gary practiced law in Minneapolis for 44 years retiring from Lindquist & Vennum (now Ballard Spahr) in 2012. During his law career, he co-authored the legal deskbook, "Drafting Wills and Trust Agreements in Minnesota." Gary was elected by his peers to numerous leadership positions, including: Chairman of the Probate and Trust Law Section, the Death Tax Reform and Legislation Committee of the Probate and Trust Law Section of the MSBA; he was a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and chair of the Governing Counsel of the MSBA Probate and Trust Law Section. He was also a Member and Chairman of the Minneapolis Estate Planning Council and Chair of the Minneapolis Breakfast Club. Gary enjoyed many years at his cabin in Wisconsin, solely to enjoy having his family around him. Those days with his children and grandchildren were his fondest memories. He also enjoyed family trips to the Black Hills, Hawaii, Florida, and Mexico. The proud and loving family that survives Gary includes his loving wife of 57 years, Karen Thompson McDowell; his children Andrea (Brian) Poehler, Craig R. (Sothira) McDowell and Karine (Brad) Hernandez; grand children Alyssa (fiancee' Sam Terzich), Micaella, Ryan, Alexandra, Garen, Joshua, Landon, Nicholas, Kira and Adam; sister-in-law Sharon VanderVelden; and many nieces and nephews in the United States and Sweden. Gary was preceded in death by his parents, Donald and Helen, his brother Dr. Craig A. McDowell, and brother-in-law Jon VanderVelden. While Gary's passing leaves a great void in our family, we are comforted that his Irish eyes are smiling and he is now held in the palm of God's hand. Mass of Christian Burial Thursday, January 16, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. at Pax Christi Catholic Church, 12100 Pioneer Trail, Eden Prairie, MN 55347. Interment to follow at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. Visitation one hour before service at the Church and Wednesday, January 15th 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m at Washburn-McReavy, Edina Chapel, 50th Street & Hwy. 100, Edina, MN 55436. In lieu of flowers, it would please Gary and the family if everyone could make contributions to Catholic Charities or to the .
Published in Pioneer Press from Jan. 12 to Jan. 14, 2020
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