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Deacon Felton McDowell
November 23, 1926 ~ December 19, 2023 (age 97) 97 Years Old
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Felton McDowell was born on November 23, 1926 in Linden (Cass County), Texas to the late Lee and Estella McDowell. Felton was the middle son of nine children that were born. The family was no stranger to hard work and sacrifice while growing up in the time of segregation and in the Jim Crow south. They worked in the fields as sharecroppers along with raising livestock, picking cotton and sugar cane—to name a few. Felton graduated from Fairview High School and shortly after moved to Vancouver, Washington to earn a living while joining his father and siblings.
Felton loved the country life and eventually moved back to Linden, along with his father and a few of his siblings, to their hometown of Linden. Upon moving back, Felton found work and joined in matrimony to the late Juanita Madlock, and upon that union, four children were born. He provided for his family by working on the railroad and doing various jobs to help make ends meet. Sadly, Felton and Juanita divorced and went their separate ways. Felton’s love for the great outdoors was always in his heart, and he immersed himself into farming by acquiring land and a small herd of cattle that was given to him by his father.
As time passed, Felton’s love for God was a major factor in his life, and he became a member of the Greater Sunrise Missionary Baptist Church where he was ordained as a Deacon. The church disbanded years later and he joined the Sunrise Missionary Baptist Church where he was also installed as a deacon and affectionately known as Deacon McDowell. Deacon McDowell’s love for God was obvious from the hymns that he would often sing, and the prayers that he led at his home church, but also at neighboring churches throughout the community.
Deacon McDowell later found love again and married Althea Jewel Taylor, and to that union, three children were born. Althea joined her husband’s church and community while enjoying a simple, yet prosperous life of farming and gardening. Deacon McDowell was one of the most requested deacons—not only at his home church—but at neighboring churches throughout Cass, Marion, and Gregg counties.
Felton later gained employment at the Gifford Hill Company in Lone Star, Texas as a Forman where he helped to dredged gravel, make concrete, and construct concrete pipes for roads, bridges, railroads, and warehouses across North America and the world. He retired in 1981 after working for 40 years with the company, and he slowly retired from farming while regularly attending church services and leading devotion until his health began to decline.
Felton’s wife Althea Jewel McDowell and parents Lee and Estella McDowell, along with nine brothers and sisters, preceded him in death: Willie B. McDowell (Oneda), Tennessee McDowell, Nathaniel McDowell, Carzel McDowell, Earlie Victoria Perkins (Renzie), Jewel McDowell-Bacon, Roxie McDowell, Esta Neda West (Joe A. West), son Felton Leon McDowell and daughter Johnnie Mearl McDowell-Hamilton of Dallas, Texas.
He leaves to cherish his memories: daughters Janie Ruth McDowell of Garland, Texas, Cheryln Jean McDowell of Dallas, Texas, Rotunda Renea McDowell-Morgan (Landa) of Dallas, Texas, sons Jimmie Earl McDowell of Dallas, Texas, Alton Dwyane McDowell (Ann) of Houston, Texas and two very special daughters Chiquita Love of Lodi, Texas and Genese Hayes of Waskom, Texas, and a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives, and friends.
Services for Deacon Felton McDowell, 97, of Dallas,, will he held 2:00pm Saturday, December 30, 2023 at Salem Baptist Church in Linden, Texas and burial will follow at Salem Baptist Church Cemetery under the direction of Lewis & Walker Funeral home of Jefferson, Texas.
Visitation will be from 5:00pm - 7:00pm Friday, December 29, 2023 at Lewis & Walker Funeral Home.
Mr. McDowell's was born November 23, 1926 and he transitioned December 19, 2023 in Plano , Texas surrounded by beloved family.