August 24, 1917 – January 26, 2012
Eugenia (Jean) Rae McDowell died in the early morning hours of January 26, 2012, at her home in Leisure World, Seal Beach, California, where she was a resident for more than thirty years. Born in Newman, Illinois, she graduated from Long Beach Polytechnic High School in 1935 and from Woodbury College in 1937.
She married Edward Amsden McDowell in 1938.
Though born in Illinois, Jean was a Long Beach native. She lived with her mother in a boarding house on Daisy Street near the ocean (it has since made way to the World Trade Center) and grew up on the beach and a nearby pier. She went on excursions with her friends on a
nearby ship, which turned out to be a offshore casino
(and didn’t she get hell from her mother when discovered?) Yet, after the 1933 earthquake and the family went back to Newman while Long Beach was undergoing reconstruction, she met this cute boy whom she had to leave when they returned to Long Beach–much to her dismay.
Yet the die was cast in 1938. One day, while Jean was waiting for a bus to go to work, a perfect stranger offered to drive Jean to work in his fancy roadster. Proper girl that she was, she declined. After repeated attempts, this stranger stood next to her waiting for the bus. One thing led to another and she married Edward at 8:00 PM, New Years Eve, December 31, 1938.
In the years that followed, while Edward went from place to place hawking and servicing typewriters, Jean lead an active career as secretary to many private enterprises and public agencies, including Modesto State Hospital during the 1950s and the State of California from 1965 to her retirement in 1980, not to mention keeping accounts for Edward’s typewriter business in Modesto, California, during the 1950s. She was a lifelong volunteer in the community, ranging from her active role in the Boy Scouts as her two sons were growing up to administrative assistant for patient care at St. Mary’s Hospital in Long Beach, years after she retired.
Jean was predeceased by her husband Edward in 1984
and is survived by her two sons; Paul V. McDowell of Santa Barbara, California and Donald E. McDowell of Robson, BC; by her grandchildren Nona Heinbecker of Hamilton, Ontario, Rishia McDowell of Naramata, BC and Ariel McDowell of Revelstoke, BC; and her five grandchildren; Erik, Grace and Kate Heinbecker of Hamilton, Ontario and Maya and Elizabeth McDowell
of Revelstoke, BC.