Estell Ross McDowell, 89, passed away unexpectedly but peacefully in his sleep on March 5, 2013.
Estell, also called Mac by friends and family, was born Dec. 15, 1923 in Provo, Utah, the first child of George A. and Sylvia McDowell. He was later joined by one brother and three sisters. In 1935, when he was eleven years old, the family moved to Walla Walla, where he resided the remainder of his life, except for the last three years when he lived with a daughter in Utah and a son in California.
He attended schools in Utah and Walla Walla, graduating from Walla Walla High School in 1942. He was inducted into the U.S. Army in 1943 to serve in World War II. He escorted and guarded Italian and German prisoners of war until he was sent overseas. He was in combat in France and Germany. Both of his feet were frozen in the Rhineland Campaign in December of 1944. He spent the next seven months in military hospitals, being honorably discharged near the end of July 1945.
While in Texas guarding POWs, he met and fell in love with Louise Bradberry. They were married May 12, 1945, and he brought her back to Walla Walla with him in August after a wonderful three months honeymoon in Colorado Springs (Fort Carson), Colo. They spent the next 65 years together until Louise’s death in 2010. They were parents of six children, four sons and two daughters.
He took his responsibility as a provider very seriously and worked hard, long hours for his family. Estell and Louise made enormous sacrifices to give their children opportunities and education they did not have themselves. He found deep satisfaction in the achievements and successes of his children.
Mac worked 37 years for the U.S. Postal Service, starting his career as a clerk and finishing it as a rural letter carrier. He also worked in home construction, building and painting many homes in Walla Walla in the 1940s-1960s. He always gave his best effort to his work, striving for better and more efficient ways of doing things.
Estell was very mechanically inclined and had a passion for working with his hands. He could fix just about anything and was very much in demand by friends, neighbors and family. Most of all, he loved working on cars, both for himself and others. He was generous with his time and skills. He was a lifetime learner and enjoyed reading, TV and video documentaries and stimulating conversation.
He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormons) and was devoted to his religious faith. He served his church in countless ways throughout his life. He was a true Christian in belief and deeds.
Estell is survived by his six children: Theodore “Ted” McDowell, San Bernardino, Calif.; John (Linda) McDowell, Broomfield, Colo.; Lyndia (Robert) Carter, Springville, Utah; Peggy Ann (Jim) Bell, Walla Walla, Wash.; James (Paula) McDowell, Gilbert, Ariz.; and Robert (Amy) McDowell, Richland, Wash. He is also survived by 20 grandchildren and 35 great-grandchildren. Also surviving are one sister, Marilyn Sjoberg; a sister-in-law, Iris Bradberry Blankfeld; brothers-in-law Russell Sjoberg, Alve Murdock, Jack Blankfeld; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife Louise, his parents, his brother Gordon McDowell, sisters Dorene Jeffs and Sylvia Murdock, daughter-in-law Anne Flaherty McDowell, and Louise’s sister Christine Seago, brother Earl Bradberry and her parents.