The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

July 17, 2013

McDowell, 90


Enid News and Eagle

— Gordon Lee McDowell celebrated his 90th birthday with a come-and-go reception for family and friends July 13. Cards may be sent to 1218 S. Oklahoma, Cherokee, OK 73728.

Gordon was born July 13, 1923, in Cherokee, the son of Orville and Hattie McDowell.

He was raised and educated in Cherokee, graduating from Cherokee High School in 1941, having been named to the Daily Oklahoman’s All-State football team. He then attended Oklahoma State University, graduating with an electrical engineering degree in January 1949.   

Gordon married Madaline June Horne, of Medford, on Dec. 22, 1943. They celebrated their 60th anniversary before her death on Sept. 10, 2004. They were both longtime members of United Methodist Church in Cherokee.

In January 1949, he joined Phillips Petroleum at its Kansas City refinery in the electrical engineering department. He was co-owner and worked at McDowell Electric in Cherokee for 42 years, until his retirement in September 1991.

In January 1943, he volunteered for the United States 69th Naval Construction Battalion, where he served at the U.S. Navy base at Newfoundland, Canada. The 69th Battalion left for England in June 1944, and prepared for the invasion of Omaha Beach in France. He later moved from France to England to Belgium to Holland and into Bremen, Germany, and later back to the U.S. He was honorably discharged Nov. 26, 1945.

Gordon always has been very active in Cherokee. He served as mayor of Cherokee for 10 years, and 12 years on the city council. He is a past trustee chairman and board member for First United Methodist Church, past president and 42-year member of Lions Club, Round-Up Board member for the Alfalfa Electric Co-op, 18-year board member for the Red Carpet Country Tourism Board, member and past president of Enid Gem and Mineral Society, founding member of Cherokee Investment Club, co-founder of the Great Salt Plains Selenite Festival and deeply involved in Scouting leadership. Gordon also is a 40-year member of Masonic Lodge and is a 60-year member of American Legion Post 33.

Gordon has two children, Cathy Lee (McDowell) Miller and husband Scott of Overland Park, Kan., and Michael Eugene McDowell and wife Brenda of Darnestown, Md.  He has one grandson.