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Charles A. Dowd was born in Rochester, New York. His parents were David Albert Dowd, a World War I Veteran and Postal Carrier, and Josepha Grace Hillen, a Nursing Supervisor. During March 1941 of his senior year in high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was trained as a radioman in Newport, Rhode Island and San Diego, California. He was assigned to duty in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He was a combatant in the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and has been one of the last living survivors of that historic event. He went on to serve on fighting vessels in the Pacific Theater in the Solomon Islands and New Guinea until the end of the war and was discharged in December 1945.He earned the moniker from his shipmates of “Devil Dog Dowd” for always volunteering for the most dangerous assignments.
Upon returning to the U.S., Charlie worked as a mason and later a contractor in the Rochester area. He later went on to be a Sales Executive for New York Fire Protection Systems and the Kirby Company. In a varied professional career, he went on to Florida, completed college credits at the University of Florida and became a high school teacher for building trades in Dunnellon, Florida. In this capacity, he taught scores of students to build residential houses and even commercial buildings. Profits from their work were turned over to the school for athletic facilities, new lockers and other school apparatus and structures. A number of this students have kept in contact with him over the years, grateful to him for giving them a life-long trade and his unique style of inspiration. He later became Regional Director for building trades in the Florida Public School System to expand the success of the Dunnellon Building Trades Program throughout more of Florida.
An avid sportsman all his life, following retiring from teaching in Florida in 1984, Charlie moved to Anaconda, Montana, in his 60s in order to hunt and fish the fabled water and mountains there. He became the Secretary of the Anaconda Sportsmen’s Club and the Outdoor Writer for the Anaconda Leader newspaper with his byline “The Wild Side” by Charlie Dowd. As a very talented researcher and writer, he also authored a number of Op-Ed articles and position papers on Conservation and hunters’ rights topics that got wide distribution. After the death of his beloved Clara in 2021, he became a resident at the Southwest Montana Veterans Home. After a brief illness, he died in his sleep on March 17, 2023.
Charlie is preceded in death by his sister Mary (O’Grady Niles), daughter Faith Dowd and wife Clara (Pearson). He leaves behind a number of surviving children, step children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Charlie was an ebullient man of many interests and opinions. In addition to his life long passion for hunting and fishing, he loved big band music, dancing, being Grandpa Charlie to the Wyant family, attending Grace Baptist Church and later Park Street Baptist Church in Butte, holding down the fort with his buddies at their discussion group at McDonalds in the morning, and singing the “oldies” in his rich baritone voice. Charlie was truly “one of a kind” who will be missed by many.
A Funeral Service for Charlie will be held on Thursday, April 27, 2023 at Grace Baptist Church, 501 Cedar St., Anaconda, MT, beginning at 11 a.m. A one-hour visitation will take place prior to the service beginning at 10 a.m. Following the Funeral Service a Graveside Service will be held in the Veteran’s Section of New Hill Cemetery, Stumptown Road, Anaconda, MT. A luncheon will be held immediately following the Graveside Service at Grace Baptist Church.
Please visit the side bar to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Charles.
Longfellow Finnegan Riddle Funeral Home and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Charles and his family.