In memory of
William Dowell Jr.
Read More
In memory of
William Dowell Jr.
William Burton Dowell, Jr. October 16, 1929 – October 13, 2016 Garner William "Bill" Dowell, 86, passed away surrounded by loved ones at WakeMed in Cary. Born in Raleigh to the late Glayds Leonard Dowell and Dr. William Burton Dowell, Sr. He enjoyed growing up among Cameron Park friends with his sister Patricia Connell, who preceded him in death in 1984. Bill graduated from Broughton High School. Served in the U.S. Air Force and then entered NCSU, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. It was during this time that he met Ruth Lennon, his life long love, at First Baptist Church of Raleigh. They were married in 1953. Together, his career took them to Florida, Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, and then back home to Raleigh in 1968. Bill retired with the US Army Corp of Engineers. In retirement, Bill formed S&D Builders, Inc. He is survived by his wife, Ruth Lennon Dowell and children, Jean Stevens and husband Tim of Raleigh, Susan Thomas and husband, Steve of Raleigh and Eric Dowell of Princeton, NJ. Seven grandchildren, Jody and husband, Michael Willis, Daniel Jones, Kelly and husband, Jason Mathews, Emily Jones, Sebastian Dowell, Alexander Dowell and Nicki Dowell. 5 great-grandchildren, Caeley Mathews, Jordyn Willis, Lane Mathews, Beren Jones and Heidi Jones. Nephews, George, John, Mike and David Connell. Bill married into the Lennon family, which blessed him with many special brothers and sisters-in-law and nieces and nephews. Bill lived life with an insatiable passion to understand the world he lived in, which resulted in a never-ending pursuit of knowledge that continued until the day he died. He loved science and math. Loved great thinkers and inventors and enjoyed talking about the achievements of Einstein, Edison, Sir Isaac Newton, Darwin, Galileo, Tesla, Ptolemy and Pythagoras to name a few. Professionally, Bill developed component parts for the B-58 Hustler on behalf of the Air Force. He was accredited with two patents on behalf of General Electric which impacted technological development in its time. He contributed to our country's efforts to land a man on the moon. He designed, developed and constructed automated manufacturing lines. He, helped improve US infrastructure. And in the 1970's he worked on his own project developing an Electric Car at his home in Raleigh, NC, which would have impressed even Elon Musk. But above all else, Bill was a beloved husband and father, who touched the hearts of everyone who knew him. His sense of caring and compassion for others has been and will always remain an inspiration in his children's lives. He always put everyone else before himself and had an amazing ability to see only the positive in life. As a father, he was always there for his wife and children and his spirit will live on in our memories. When asked what he appreciated and valued most in life, his answer was simply being with his family and watching his children grow. He was a hero beyond all others. A genius in his family's, colleagues', and many other's minds. He was a giant example of the best values humanity has ever offered. It goes without saying, he will be greatly missed. The family would like to thank the staff at WakeMed Cary.  You are our Angels. Visitation will be held on his birthday from 6:00PM to 8:00PM on Sunday, October 16th at Bryan Lee Funeral Home, Garner, NC. The Funeral Service and celebration of his life will be held on Monday, October 17, 2016 at 2:00PM at First Baptist Church, 99 N Salisbury St., Raleigh, NC. with Dr. Chapman officiating. Burial will follow at Montlawn Memorial Park, Raleigh. Donations may be made to First Baptist Church, 99 N Salisbury St., Raleigh, NC 27603 and the Wake County Chapter of NAMI at 120 West Hargett St., Raleigh, NC 27601. Condolences to the family may be made at
View Full Obituary ›
Services Provided By
Bryan-Lee Funeral Home
831 Wake Forest Road, Raleigh, NC 27604
Express Your Condolences By Sending Funeral Flowers.
All arrangements are locally delivered to Bryan-Lee Funeral Home by a local Raleigh, NC florist.
7 Day Satisfaction Guarantee!
Need Help? Have Questions?
Use Code: 80889