Thelma Marie Ralston McDowell was born May 23, 1923, to Bernice and Thomas Ralston in Dodge City, Kansas. She passed from this life July 8, 2006, at Britthaven of Onslow Nursing Home in Jacksonville, North Carolina, at the age of eighty-three. Thelma married Charles Edwin McDowell October 23, 1938 in Pratt, Kansas. After their marriage, they moved to California where she raised her children. Eventually she and Mac relocated to Oklahoma where they spent each school year running The Pastry Shop on Main Street in Waurika. Each summer they traveled to Brookings, Oregon where they fished for salmon and picked blackberries for jam. After Mac's death Thelma moved to Jacksonville, North Carolina, to be near her family. She was a vibrant, intelligent and vivacious woman who touched everyone she met. A voracious reader, she read two or three books a week until shortly before her death. Her gregarious personality made her a favorite resident at the nursing home. She never stopped loving or missing her beloved Mac and is finally reunited with him. Her energy, spunk and wit live on in her children and grandchildren.
Survivors include: two sons - Charles Edwin McDowell, Jr. and Thomas McDowell; two daughters - Judy Yeager and her husband George, and Suzanne Marie; eight grandchildren - Michael McDowell, Kim White and her husband Robert, Julie Fulton and her husband John, Shelley Stevens and her husband Jim, Cathy Parkhurst, Mitzi Tourtillot, Annette McDowell, and Eric McDowell and his wife Ethel; and fourteen great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Bernice and Thomas Ralston, her husband, Charles Edwin Mac McDowell; two brothers, Tom and Elmer McDowell, and a son-in-law Ronald E. W
Mrs. McDowell was buried in Waurika Cemetery under the direction of Dudley Funeral Home of Waurika.