Althea Jewel McDowell, affectionately known as "Teet", was born on February 5, 1935—a fraternal twin—to the parents of Alf and Annie Taylor of Lassater, Texas in Marion County.
As a young teenage girl growing up in a large household, Althea had numerous responsibilities given to her to help ensure that her family was taken well care of at all times. She attended Victory High School in Texas, where she graduated as Valedictorian of her class. Along with being a talented basketball player and athlete, Althea juggled both work and school while excelling in her Home Economics course in high school.
Quite frankly, Althea excelled in everything that she loved and put her hands to—especially cooking and baking— where her teachers in Home Economics took notice of her exceptional culinary skills. She was offered the opportunity, during summer breaks, to accompany her Home Economics teacher to travel to New Orleans, Louisiana where she enrolled as a student in a culinary arts program. Her passion for cooking earned her a culinary certification from the school that paved the way for her creations in delicious southern-inspired dishes and delectable desserts—all made from scratch, and all made with love.
Mrs. McDowell worked for various companies and employers throughout Texas including the Excelsior House in Jefferson, Jordan Health Services, and a host of hotels throughout the region. From waitress to restaurant cook, to eventually becoming a self-employed entrepreneur and restaurateur, she was known by her peers, co-workers, partners, and employees as hardworking, reliable, and dependable in every position that she held throughout her professional and entrepreneurial journey.
On September 15, 1964, Althea joined Felton McDowell of Linden, Texas in holy matrimony. A strong and beautiful woman of many notable traits, and unwavering faith in her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Althea could be seen taking on just about any task thrown in her direction. Along with being a mother to three biological children, Leon (deceased), Rotunda, and Alton, Althea was no stranger to getting her hands dirty on the family's farm as well! From helping her husband, Felton, feed several dozen heads of cattle, tending to the family's livestock, putting up barbed wire fences, and preparing the family's hot breakfasts, work lunches, and savory suppers fit for a royal family, Althea seemingly could do it all! She was a phenomenal homemaker, wonderful wife, loving mother, and trustworthy friend to countless neighbors and people she encountered throughout the years.
Shortly after her marriage to Felton, she moved her membership from Warlock Methodist Church in Lassater, Texas where she attended church as a child, to Sunrise Missionary Baptist Church where she held the offices of Deaconess, Usher, and head of the Kitchen Committee faithfully until the decline of her health began to compromise her ability to regularly attend and serve during church services and events.
"Teet" lived a long, full, and joyous life, particularly with her husband and children, where she attended sporting events with both Rotunda and Alton as they engaged in school activities involving athletics, UIL competitions, performing and fine arts, marching band performances, numerous award ceremonies, and so much more. As if that were not enough, she worked in the concession stands at her children's baseball, softball, volleyball, and track and field events, along with being an active and highly visible member of the Parent/Teacher Association within the Linden-Kildare Consolidated Independent School District. As her children grew older and started families of their own, Althea enjoyed numerous opportunities to travel to wonderful and amazing destinations such as New York City, Washington, DC, and Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts. Truly a woman of many talents, "Teet" also possessed an exceptional green thumb for harvesting and canning vegetables and fruits, planting beautiful flower gardens, along with enjoying the simple things in life such as friendly power walks in the evening with her neighbors and friends.
Althea's parents Alf and Annie Taylor (known by family as "Momma Suga") and seven brothers and sisters preceded her in death: Albert Taylor (Elizabeth, spouse) her fraternal twin, Mary Magdalene Warren (Horace, spouse), Alma Marie Ward (Obie D., spouse), Lottie Mae-Brown, Claudie Taylor (Laura, spouse), Lemmuel Taylor, Willie B. Taylor (Ruth, spouse), her first-born son Felton Leon (passed at age 10 months old), and step-daughter Johnnie Mearl McDowell-Hamilton. Althea departed this life and entered into eternal rest on September 1, 2023.
She leaves to cherish her memories: Husband Felton McDowell of Linden, Texas, sister Ross Pearl Montgomery (Theotis, spouse) of Lone Star, Texas; two biological children Rotunda Renea Morgan (Landa, spouse) of Dallas, Texas, and Alton Dwayne McDowell (Ann, spouse) of Houston, Texas; Janie Ruth McDowell of Garland, Texas, Jimmie Earl McDowell of Dallas, Texas, and Cherlyn Jean Clark of Dallas, Texas; three grandchildren Essence Nikol Ford, Walker Reade McDowell, and Warner Clarke McDowell, and a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives and friends.
Services for Althel Jewel McDowell, 88, of Dallas, Texas will be 11:00am Saturday, September 16, 2023 at Pinecrest Baptist Church in Linden, Texas and interment will follow at Salem Cemetery in Linden, Texas under the direction of Lewis & Walker Funeral Home of Jefferson, Texas.
Mrs. McDowell was born February 5, 1935 and transitioned September 1, 2023 in Dallas, Texas.
Mrs. McDowell was 88 years old.
A full obituary will be published.