Aug. 6, 1933-Nov. 13, 2020
William Edward “W.E.” Dowden Jr. went home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Friday, Nov. 13, 2020. He was born Aug. 6, 1933, in Kisatchie to William Edward Dowden Sr. and Leona Lewis Dowden.
W.E. graduated from Kisatchie High School in 1951 and joined the U.S. Air Force in 1952. He went to Atomic Weapons School at the Air Force Academy in Denver, Colo. From there he went to Lakenheath Air Base in England for four years and remained on active and reserve duty until his honorable discharge in 1960.
After returning home he attended NSU for three years, married his “Bee Bop”, the love of his life, and moved to Lake Charles where he worked for Gulf States Utilities from 1959-71. W.E. returned to his beloved Kisatchie in 1971 to run a grocery store, raise cattle and retire as a school bus driver. Joining Kisatchie Baptist Church as a teenager, he remained a lifetime member and served as deacon form 1976 until his death.
He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings, Randy Dowden, John Lewis Dowden, Johnnie Kinkaid and Shirley Hayes.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Dorothy Gandy Dowden; son, William Edward Dowden III (Jeaniene) of Kisatchie; daughter, Phyllis Birdwell (Steve) of Marthaville; grandchildren, Kati Dowden, Dana Shofner (Grant), William Edward Dowden IV (Selena), Lori Moseley (Matt) and Mark Birdwell; and great-grandchildren, Indi and Wells Shofner and Easton Sandifer; as well as one sister, Jo Lynn Ford of Pineville.
W.E. was an avid turkey and deer hunter who loved raising a garden and sharing it with everyone. He was a pillar of the community and his parting leaves a hole in our hearts. A dedicated husband, father and grandfather, our Paw will be greatly missed until will see him again.
A service to honor his life was at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15 at Kisatchie Baptist Church. Burial with military honors followed at New Kisatchie Cemetery.
Serving as pallbearers were Will Dowden, Mark Birdwell, Bert Kinkaid, Derek Dowden, Landon Dowden, Dakota Scoggins, Charles Boles and Jeff Taylor.
Honorary pallbearers were Pat Dowden, Keith Scoggins and Easton Sandifer.