Thomas Dowdell Obituary (2022) – Sequim, WA

Thomas (Tom) Dowdell, 92, died at Sherwood Assisted Living in Sequim, WA, of
complications of cancer on Monday, August 29, 2022. Tom Dowdell lived in Sequim
for the past four years, coming to the Olympic Peninsula from Fargo, ND, soon after his
long-time wife of 66 years, Phyllis, passed away on October 5, 2017.
Tom was born on July 22, 1930 in Milton, PA, to Philip and Florence Dowdell. In 1951
he graduated from Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA with a degree in Engineering.
Lehigh is where he met his future wife, Phyllis, and they were married at the time of his
graduation. Tom has one sister, Florence Lins, who lives in Woodland Hills, CA. Phyllis
and Tom have four children: Linda (married to Ron Thomson), living in Sequim, WA;
Annuel Preston, Seattle, WA; Tom, Jr. (married to Christine), Fargo, ND; andrew
(married to Andrea), San Pedro, CA. They also have six grandchildren: Ross and Elliot
Preston (Chicago, IL & Seattle); Colin and Paula Dowdell (Pasadena & San Pedro, CA);
David and Philip Dowdell (Oklahoma City, OK & Fargo, ND).
Tom and Phyllis lived in many places during their married life: Haddonfield, NJ;
Aberdeen, MD; Oreland, PA (Philadelphia); Louisville, Ky; Short Hills, NJ; palos verdes,
CA; Washington, D.C.; and Fargo, ND.
Tom, “The Piano Man”, developed the skill of playing the piano as a teen in Milton and
entertained multitudes, starting in his Sigma Chi college days/Glee Club, and then
throughout his life. Tom had no ear and could easily play any song; “Can you hum
a few notes?” Tom also was a tenor and sang beautifully in many choirs over the
years, most recently with the Port Angeles Symphony Chorus. He played piano for
many groups at many parties, many weddings, many receptions, and many churches
Tom shaped his engineering degree from Lehigh into various successful sales positions
in the cryogenics field. In the late 1970’s he reinvented himself as a manufacturer’s
Sales representative, starting a rewarding home business. Tom and Phyllis were both
“pioneers” in many ways, usually moving to a new city/home, often following their
young grandchildren. In every location Tom and Phyllis were active in church life and
neighborhood gatherings, always sharing the joys and needs of their friends and
relative. They fully embraced the mission of their churches and volunteered often,
notably with youth ministry. In Fargo, Tom was active with Kiwanis, breaking records in
pancake breakfast sales, and sharing his piano playing.
A nature lover, Tom led his family on many camping, sailing, and memorable canoe
trips, battling the rain, and even being becalmed halfway from Catalina Island. In Palos
Verdes, he was the Scoutmaster Supreme of Troop 878, through much peak-bagging and camping, always showing a positive attitude and a strong willingness to share his skills in the wilderness.
It is suggested that memorial gifts be made to two fine organizations that Tom
supported in his lifelong love of dogs and music: WAG, Welfare for Animals Guild,, (360) 460-6258; Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra, 360-457-5579.

Published by Peninsula Daily News on Sep. 24, 2022.

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