Cover photo for William  Michael Mcdowell's Obituary
William  Michael Mcdowell Profile Photo

William Michael Mcdowell

May 24, 1939 — November 23, 2021

William Michael (Mike) McDowell, 82, of Overland Park, KS, passed away peacefully on November 23, 2021, from complications of Alzheimer’s and congestive heart failure, at Villa St. Francis Catholic Care Community in Olathe, KS, where he resided since June 2021. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at Curé of Ars Catholic Parish, Leawood, KS, on December 14, at 10:30 a.m., with visitation and a luncheon immediately following.The Rosary will be prayed before Mass, at 10:00 a.m. Interment of cremains will take place on December 14 at Topeka Cemetery.

Mike’s family is very grateful to Villa St. Francis for the care he received, especially these last two months from Catholic Community Hospice and all the Villa staff.

Mike was born May 24, 1939, in Ponca City, OK, to his parents, William Allen and Barbara Snavely McDowell, who preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife, Nancy Wood McDowell; brother Dennis (Jane), Frisco, TX; sister Sharon Gonzales (Ed), Albuquerque, NM; and brother Gordon, Everett, WA; by his children, William Michael (Bill) McDowell (Marty), Overland Park, KS; Charles Stephen McDowell, MD, Virginia, MN; Kathleen Marie Logan, Kansas City, MO; and bonus daughter Sarah McMillian Ballantyne (Nathanial), Kansas City, MO; grandchildren Aubrey Christine Logan, Christopher Ryan Logan, Colton Bennett Logan, and Luke McDowell; and his first wife, Linda Roach (Paul). Mike was also preceded in death by our beloved sister-in-law Anita McDowell (Everett, WA, and Djakarta, Indonesia).

Mike’s family moved from Ponca City to Newkirk, OK, when he was in grade school. In Newkirk he attended Catholic grade school and was an altar server. He graduated high school in 1957 and was a member of the National Honor Society. In 1956 Mike was one of two members of his class selected to attend Oklahoma Boys State. Mike ran track and was a member of the 1956 state champion team. He also played football and was on the 1955 regional champion team. In an era when high school seniors voted on their classmates’ qualities and accomplishments, Mike was described as Most Handsome, Most Brilliant, and Most Likely to Succeed. He was all that and more. He enjoyed many high school reunions in Newkirk.

After high school Mike attended Oklahoma University on a Conoco scholarship to study engineering. Later he transferred to Oklahoma State University, graduating in 1961 from the College of Agriculture and Applied Science with a B.S. in microbiology. At OSU he was on the dean’s honor roll. Mike was a member of Navy ROTC and was commissioned Ensign upon graduation. He was assigned to Navy Underwater Swimming School in Key West, FL, and later to the Explosive Ordnance Disposal School in Ft. Story, VA, as an instructor. He served on the USS Forrestal where he qualified as Junior Officer of the Deck (Underway). He was also a classified materials courier. In 1969 Mike and his diving team participated in the recovery of the moon landing capsule, Apollo 11. Later that year, Mike transferred to the Navy Reserve and returned to OSU for graduate studies in microbiology and biochemistry.

Mike’s civilian career was at Diamond Laboratories, Des Moines, IA, as Manager of Bacteria Development and then for over 20 years at Mobay (now Bayer) Animal Health, Shawnee, KS, in large animal vaccine production planning. After retirement from Bayer he worked for several years at Intervet International in De Soto, KS, before finally retiring in 2004.

His Navy Reserve years included assignments on the local Readiness Command Inspector General Staff, a perfect place for Mike with his eagle eyes for how things should be. He retired from the Navy Reserve in 1991.

In retirement, Mike was very active until health issues forced a slowdown. He worked out at the YMCA two or three times weekly, rode his bicycle on the local trails, and chased after his grandchildren, sometimes three at once. He was a superb cook, expert grill chef, and creative meal planner. He grew delicious vegetables and herbs. Mike and his dear friend and late neighbor, John Shore, engaged in friendly lawn mowing competition. We know they’re in Heaven helping to mow that heavenly grass.

Mike loved his family and loved having them around. Mike and Nancy enjoyed many family visits over the years, in addition to travels to Thailand, Indonesia, Cuba, and Russia. Our family feels the immense gap of his absence. In addition to years of great memories, we are comforted by his and our faith in our Lord. Mike was a faithful prayer of the Rosary. He loved his brothers in Christ from the men’s groups at Curé of Ars including the Spring 2008 Christ Renews His Parish retreat.

Flowers are welcome at the church but even better would be contributions in Mike’s memory to the Curé of Ars Faith, Hope, and Charity Capital Campaign. You can do that by clicking Here .


Memorial Mass

Start Date: December 14, 2021, 10:30 am
End Date: December 14, 2021, 12:00 am
Cure of Ars Catholic Church
9401 Mission Rd.
Leawood, KS 66206
Phone: 913-649-1337


Start Date: December 14, 2021, 10:00 am
End Date: December 14, 2021, 10:15 am
Cure of Ars Catholic Church
9401 Mission Rd.
Leawood, KS 66206
Phone: 913-649-1337
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William Michael Mcdowell, please visit our flower store.


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