‹ Return to Current Obituaries
Send FlowersHand delivered by a local florist
Send a Sympathy Card
Plant Memorial Trees

Memorial Service

Peniel Pentecostal Holiness Church
Tuesday December 8th, 2015

View Details

Order Flowers now for guaranteed delivery before James's visitation.

James V. McDowell Jr.

James V. McDowell Jr. passed away peacefully Tuesday, March 8, 2016 in Greenville, Texas. He was 92 years old.

Jim as he was known by friends and relatives was born in San Antonio, Texas on June 3, 1923, to Sara Frances Grider and Captain James Veto McDowell. He travelled extensively first as the child of an army officer, then serving his country as a merchant mariner in WW II, and then in retirement. Jim worked as a social worker and teacher, retiring as a Professor of Social Work from Texas A &M University-Commerce in 1981. Past academic achievements include a BA degree from the University of New Mexico; a BS degree from the United States Merchant Marine Academy; an MA from Baylor University; and an MSW from the University of Texas-Austin.

Shortly after the war and while attending Baylor University, Jim met the lovely and spirited Jean Renick Johnson. They married on February 7, 1948 in San Antonio and honeymooned in Corpus Christi staying at the Robert Driscoll Hotel overlooking the bay. Together they raised four children living first in Waco, then Austin and finally in Commerce.

Jim enjoyed the outdoors: sailing, hiking, camping, gardening. He was an avid reader with a keen interest in history and current events. In his later years, he became the family genealogist regaling anyone who would listen to him with stories from the dusty past. He was an ardent environmentalist aiding various environmental groups for a number of years with his financial support and encouragement. He believed in the future of a viable planet Earth and enjoyed a progressive, positive attitude and lifestyle.

Left to carry on his memory and legacy are his four children Cynthia McDowell Miller of Commerce, Robert McDowell and his wife Debbie of Ashville, N.C., Mary Catherine Tittle and her husband Floyd of San Angelo and Rebecca Padilla and her friend Jim Stinnett of Commerce; grandchildren Erica, David, Joseph, Laura and their father Robert O’Brian; grandson Graham and his mother Christa Hendrick; one great granddaughter Isabelle and two great grandchildren expected to arrive in June and September. Jim also leaves behind several lifelong friends, acquaintances and co-workers. He will be missed by all those whose lives he touched.

In addition to his parents, Jim was preceded in death by Jean Renick McDowell, his wife of 43 years who died March 6, 1991; Virginia Adams McDowell, his second wife of 11 years who died June 2, 2007; his sons-in-law Dennis Padilla and Terry Anton Miller; and Virginia's two sons Bill and Kenny Adams.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 22, 2016, at 1:00 P.M. at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 515 Columbus Ave. Waco, Texas, 76706, followed by committal at Oakwood Cemetery, 2124 S. 5th St., Waco, Texas 76706.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Sierra Club Foundation, 85 Second Street, Suite 750, San Francisco, CA 94105 or or the Commerce Public Library, 1210 Park St., Commerce, TX 75428, telephone 903.886.6858.

Committal service follows memorial service.

Memorial Service

Saturday, October 22, 2016
1:00 PM

St. Paul's Episcopal
515 Columbus Ave.
Waco, Texas 76706

Committal Service

Saturday, October 22, 2016
2:00 PM

Oakwood Cemetery
2124 S. 5th Street
Waco, Texas 76706

Committal service follows memorial service.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James McDowell Jr., please visit our flower store.


I had not heard about Jim's passing. My heart felt condolences to all of the family. He was one of my Mother's,Tita White, favorite cousins. Thoughts and prayers are with you.

Marilyn I White Aug 5 2018 12:00 AM

Mr. McDowell 'life was most interesting and rewarding, a pleasure to read. Why am I reading it? Like the subject I am a genealogy adept and particularly so, in the case of Jean Renick McDowell Johnson, whose third last name establishes that she is a first-cousin, once removed, to a sizeable population of Edwin and Louisa Boyd descendants. Please use my gmail address if you are interested in this piece of information and further correspondence. Jean met quite a few of us when she and Rebecca, then about twelve, came to a reunion at Paris Landing TN.

Lucinda r Boyd Nov 11 2016 12:00 AM

Dear Cynthia, Rebecca, and Mary Catherine, I am so sorry for your loss. Your father lived a very rich and full life here, and I know he continues to be productive, happy, and ever the seeker as he moves forward on his journey. Love to you all, Judy

Judy Allen Mar 18 2016 12:00 AM

We have precious memories of Jim & Jean & their children when we lived in housing on the Waco State Home campus in 1958-61. Jim & I worked together with the children in scout camping trips, summers at the Youth Center at Granite Shoals Lake and many activities on the campus, public school, driving buses, work duties, recreation and counseling. I experienced a strong camaraderie with Jim. There are both serious and funny episodes that I can recall. In the following years Jim and I kept up our contacts. Jim was a kind and dedicated person who was attentive to the needs of others. He was one of my best friends. In later years we visited mostly by telephone. My memories of his presence and his voice are still precious to me. My thoughts are now with his children as they dwell now upon memories of this great man who was their father.

Charles & Beverly Locklin Mar 16 2016 12:00 AM

Mary Catherine, Sorry for your loss; please take care.

Frank vN. Mar 16 2016 12:00 AM

The article is very nice and he will surly be missed by family and friends...He was a true gentleman and very well read. He was, to sum it up, a very sweet soul! Regards, Kaye Otto

Kaye Otto Mar 15 2016 12:00 AM