William Albert “Billy” Dowell, 85

January 14, 2020

William Albert “Billy” Dowell, 85, of Sunderland passed away January 13, 2020. William Albert Dowell was born December 2, 1934. He was the youngest of 6 and the last family member to be born at home. Upon graduating high school, his music teacher said she could get him into the Peabody Institute. If you had the chance to hear Dad sing, you know his voice would fill the church with wonderful music. Whether it was church hymns or Christmas music, he could send chills down your spine. He opted to not attend but stay home on the family farm.

On February 2, 1957 Dad married Peggy June Cox of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Six weeks later he received his draft notice. After basic training, he spent 18 months in Germany. When his tour was complete, his commanding officer offered him a higher rank if he re-enlisted. Dad said no, he was going home to his wife and farm.

Mom and Dad lived with Dad’s parents. Some of Dad’s siblings and their children also resided in the home. As time went on, it was Mom and Dad and Dad’s parents. Children started to arrive and enrich their lives. Randy in 1962, Bryan in 1964 and Chris in 1968.

As the family grew, Dad needed income more than the farm could provide. He worked at Maryland Tobacco Grower’s Association in Huntingtown for a while. Then a friend convinced him he would be a good life insurance agent. Dad worked for Peoples Life Insurance Company for 17 years. This job worked well for him; he could schedule client meetings around his farming activities. When he retired from the insurance business, Mr. Rausch, owner of Rausch Funeral Home, called Dad into service. Dad would spend the next 30 years helping with funerals and greeting visitors as they came to see loved ones. Dad was very fond of the Rausch family; they were good to him and he enjoyed working with them. This job also worked well for Dad; he could still have time to work on the farm. Dad was a long-time member of All Saints Church, where he sang in the choir and served on the vestry. Dad was a member of the Planning and Zoning Appeals Board for many years. His even temper and sense of fairness served him well and was appreciated by other board members. Other boards Dad served on included Calvert County Farm Bureau and Calvert County Agriculture Preservation.

Dad’s daughters in law were Pat (Bryan), Jill (Chris) and Ann (Randy). Grandchildren included Joshua, Austen and Rowan. You may be seeing a common theme; farming was always part of Dad’s life. Dad, his father and brother at one time raised as much as 30 acres of tobacco. Dad also raised cattle and feed for them. A large garden provided fresh food all summer and the rest of the year thanks to Mom’s canning. Mom went to be with the Lord September 14, 2005. After Mom’s passing, Dad continued to maintain his home, prepare his meals and yes, continued to farm. Now Mom and Dad are reunited.

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