Donald Gene McDow

Graveside inurnment for Donald Gene McDow, 87, Lawrence will be held at 3:00 p.m. Friday, November 4, 2016 at Memorial Park Cemetery in Lawrence. There will be a celebration of life from 4-6 p.m. on Friday following the graveside at the American Legion in Lawrence. He passed away Saturday, October 29, 2016 at Bridge Haven in Lawrence.

Don was born May 3, 1929 in Weatherby, MO the son Everett and Mary (Channell) McDow.

He served his country in the United States Navy and U.S. Naval Reserves.

He married his wife, Roberta Jean Ross in 1949.

He was preceded in death by both parents; and his son, Richard McDow.

He worked for General Motors until he moved to Lawrence in 1958 and opened the Ben Franklin Store, was instrumental in starting downtown Lawrence sidewalk sale, and then owned Don McDow Insurance Agency until retirement in 1995.

He was very involved in many community activities throughout Lawrence. He was a member of Plymouth Congregational Church, a member of Masonic Lodge, Abdallah Shrine, Optimist Club (past Lt. Gov) Elks Lodge, (Past Exalter Ruler) Past Commander Dorsey Liberty Post 14 of the American Legion), Breakfast Optimist, Big Blue Sportsmen Club, Fraternal Order of Police (Association Member), Life Underwriters Association, Professional Insurance Agents of Kansas, Past President of Hearts of American Seniors. Golf Association and was Instructor for AARP 55 Alive Driving Course. He was also Douglas County Chairman March of Dimes from 1966 – 1969, Grand Marshall of St. Pat’s Day Parade in 1992, and Vice President of Marysville Mutual Insurance Company in Marysville, KS.

He is survived by his loving wife, Roberta McDow; sister, Kay Dudley; two daughters, Suzanne Nutt, (David), Deborah Miller, (Mark); five grandchildren, Sara Nutt Gagne (Dave), Katy Hamilton (Barrett), Bradley Nutt (Eleysha), Andrew Miller (Lacey), Erin Miller (Cody) six great grandchildren; and many friends.

Most of all he loved his fishing, hunting, and golfing. He was an excellent storyteller and always had a new joke and he wanted everyone to know he was a very nice guy.

Memorials may be made in his name to the Lawrence Humane Society, American Legion – Dorsey Liberty Post 14, or Douglas County Historical Society and may be sent in care of the Warren-McElwain Mortuary.

11 Condolences

  1. Kim Murphree on October 31, 2016 at 8:36 am

    Don was a great man. I always enjoyed our interviews at KLWN and his voice as emcee of the Memorial Day services at Oak Hill. All my prayers to his family for comfort and peace. Don will always be remembered as a leader and friend.

  2. steve Jones on October 31, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    Roberta and Family,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We are thinking of you.
    Mary and Steve Jones

  3. Murl and Carla Westheffer on October 31, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    To the family,
    We sent our warmest thoughts and prayers to you all. I have so many memories, especially his smile and a great sense of humor – even in the worst of times he eased our troubles. May fond memories of your father bring you comfort during this difficult time.
    Murl and Carla (Amerine) Westheffer

  4. Steven L. GEORGE on October 31, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    Please accept my deepest sympathies

  5. Janet Middleton on November 1, 2016 at 12:44 am

    Roberta, Debbie, Mark, Andrew, Erin and family. I will always remember Don as a fun loving, bigger than life man who had a great sense of humor and loved his family very much. What a full life he had. He was truly amazing and I will never forget him so graciously singing at our mother’s memorial service. May God bring you all peace and comfort at this time and a lifetime of beautiful memories. Love to you all.

    Janet and John

  6. Frank and Stephanie Cabrera on November 1, 2016 at 1:26 am

    Debbie, Roberta, Mark, Andrew, Erin and family.
    I will always remember Don as a very fun and Patriotic man. I remember him giving us all red bracelets to wear while Frank was deployed and he said he wouldn’t take his off until Frank returned home safe. That always meant so much to me and something I will never forget. Thinking of you all at this time and sending our love and prayers.

    Frank, Steph and family.

  7. Robin Breit on November 1, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Roberta and family
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  8. Jaye Parkerson on November 1, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Don was my Moms good friend at Bridge Haven. I lost my Mom June 7th and I saw the sadness in Dons eyes when he heard the news. I loved to hear his stories and sometimes he could be kinda sassy. Once when my Son came dressed as a cheerleader at Halloween, Don called him a “Nancy”. We had a good laugh. My Mom had dementia and for her it was frustrating and she repeated things alot so Don and his stories kept her mind on other things. He loved when his family was picking him up to go out and eat. He loved his wife and said so all the time. I feel sad that I have missed seeing him since I lost Mom, but its been hard and I know that both of them are pain free and enjoying conversation with family & friends till we get to see them again. I am sorry for your loss.

  9. Anne Buhler Jones on November 2, 2016 at 8:18 am

    The McDowell family was an integral part of our Old West Lawrence extended family. They were treasured friends and Don was the loud, funny, enthusiastic leader of their pack. He and Roberta tended bar for my post wedding party at my parent’s home. Don could tend bar anywhere! His stories were rib splitting and never ending. I remember his solo at my dad’s funeral, a lovely tribute to their friendship. Don will be mourned but not forgotten.

  10. Stan Gibson Sr. on November 2, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    Roberta & Family,

    My deep condolences on Don’s passing !!! Fond memories of years gone past. Much Love,

    Stan Gibson Sr.

  11. Michele (Wilson) Cowger on November 6, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    Dear Roberta and family,

    We lift you all in prayer!
    May HOLY SPIRIT comfort each of you now and throughout the upcoming year!

    The Dick & Dona Wilson family,
    Terry, Michele, Mark & Tim families

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