Gerald McDowell, 79Gerald “Jerry” Wayne McDowell, 79, died Tuesday, December 11, 2012 with his family by his side after spending a snow-filled weekend with his wife and all his children at home with him one last time.
Gerald “Jerry” Wayne McDowell, 79, died Tuesday, December 11, 2012 with his family by his side after spending a snow-filled weekend with his wife and all his children at home with him one last time.
Gerald was born October 31, 1933 in Spencer, Iowa, the son of Verne and Elizabeth (Berner) McDowell. He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran Faith.
Jerry attended Glenwood High School and during his senior year he joined the Marines and served his country for four years at Platoon 130 in San Diego. Jerry was honorably discharged from the Marines and returned to rural Farwell to help his family on the farm. In 1964, he ventured to Minneapolis to start his career in construction.
On June 10, 1968, Jerry was united in marriage to Susan Hvezda at St. John Nepomuk Catholic Church in rural Lowry. To this union, four children were born. The family settled in the Farwell area in 1979. Jerry worked for Ferguson Brothers Excavating, running heavy equipment for them until his retirement in 1996.
During his retirement years, Jerry discovered his gift of refinishing furniture and “custom shelf making” out of unusual materials. His greatest enjoyment was the time spent with his family, especially his seven grandchildren. They will cherish his sense of humor and how he would always make them laugh. He was known for his “turtle-like speed,” which added to the laughter.
In March of 2011, Jerry was diagnosed with cancer. His journey was filled with love and understanding as he made a rocky road as smooth as possible. He had an unbelievable acceptance of his terminal illness and would say to his family, “We all have to die of something and if you haven’t lived your life in 78 years, you’ve done something wrong.”
He is survived by his wife, Susan; children, Lois (Nick) Hollenbeck of Lowry, Linda (Jason) Muchow of Alexandria, Lori (Frank) Trousil of Alexandria, Tim McDowell of Farwell; grandchildren, Alex, Kyle and Shayla Hollenbeck, Maria Clark, Blaine Muchow, Macey and Sidney Trousil; brothers, Robert and Richard “Dick” McDowell.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, John, Jaand Chuck; and sister, Lavonne Eliason.
A memorial service was held Friday, December 14 at Anderson Funeral Home. Burial was at St. John Nepomuk Cemetery in Reno Township.
Arrangements are with Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria; www.andersonfuneral.net.
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