Cover photo for James O. McDowell's Obituary
1939 James 2024

James O. McDowell

February 1, 1939 — April 30, 2024


James O. McDowell “Tennessee”, 85, passed away April 30, 2024. He was born February 1, 1939 in Dyersburg, Tennessee to Louise Lawson and Hoyle McDowell and raised in Memphis, TN. He was loved by all who knew him. He was a Veteran of the United States Navy where he served as a cook and was stationed in Bermuda. He told many stories throughout his lifetime about living in Bermuda and visiting France. James worked in maintenance at Aultman hospital, where he retired after 23 years.

His love of writing and his insights prompted many discussions among family and friends that will be fondly remembered. James also spoke highly of his time as a student when he and his sister, Gloria, attended Catholic school. James talked about his teacher, Sister Patrick, and enjoyed the delicious food that was served for lunch. His love and passion for cooking inspired his daughter, Valorie, who also continues to share his recipes and his love of cooking. 

James is survived by his three children, Mark McDowell, Barry McDowell and Valorie Ward, as well as grandchildren, cousins, nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews and many dear friends. He was especially close to his sister, Gloria Cruz, who passed away in December of 2023 and his half-brother, Noble Preston, who passed away in 2016. 

The family is having a private gathering in remembrance of James. Condolences and special memories of James can be shared with his family online at

Heritage Cremation & Burial Society, (330) 875-5770

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


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