Barbara Wheatley McDowell
June 1, 2023
Our beloved mom, Barbara Wheatley McDowell, 98, of Shelton, Washington passed away peacefully on Mother's Day, May 14, 2023.
Barbara Withington Wheatley was born in Artesia, New Mexico on November 18, 1924, to Rex and Florence Wheatley, the fourth of four children. After graduating from Artesia High School, Barbara studied at Knox School for Girls (NY) Occidental College (CA) and graduated from Columbia University, Barnard College (NY) with a degree in education.
On a blind date after her junior year of college, she met and fell in love with a good looking man in an Army uniform, Fred McDowell (known as Bud or Mac to most). They married a year later, in 1946, and moved to Seattle where Bud finished his degree at the University of Washington. In 1949 they moved to their beautiful home on Hood Canal where they raised their family.
Barbara taught in the Hood Canal School District from 1955 until retiring in 1980. In 1996 she and Bud moved to Christmas Village in Shelton. They both loved to travel; she had a lifelong love of cultures, geography and art and traveled extensively both abroad and in the U.S. Bud would accompany her unless he 'couldn't drink the water', in which case she'd travel with close friends or family members. Barbara's other interests included gardening, voracious reading, and volunteering.
Barbara was a member of P.E.O. Chapter B, Faith Lutheran Church, Mason General Hospital Auxiliary, Friends of the Library (Timberland) and Mason County Historical Society. Over her long life she volunteered for several other projects and organizations.
She would say she was just ordinary, but our mother was an extraordinary lady. She was generous and humble, thoughtful and kind. Her love for our dad was absolutely unshakable; until his passing in 2011 they enjoyed 64 years together. She believed that the richest life one could lead was one full of love, loyalty, service, learning and generosity.
Barbara is survived by her children, Mike McDowell (Kathy) of Shelton, WA, Susan Dodds (Vince) of Highlands Ranch, CO; grandchildren Amy, Sarah (Mark), Samantha, Josh (Marisha), Monica and Parker; great-grandchildren Moriah, Blake, Addyson, Adam and Austin; and great-great-granddaughter Paisley. She is preceded in death by her husband Bud, parents Rex and Florence Wheatley, brother Richard, and sisters Jean and Joanne.
Barbara will be greatly missed, lovingly remembered, and forever in our hearts.
There will be a Celebration of Life at 2:00 p.m. July 1, 2023 at Faith Lutheran Church, 1212 Con-nection St., Shelton, WA
Donations can be made to any local organization dedicated to enriching lives.