Hassell Steven McDowell

Published 10:21 am Tuesday, March 21, 2023

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Hassell Steven McDowell, born on March 16, 1948, passed away on March 18, 2023, at the age of 75. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend.

He left a lasting impression on those who knew and loved him.  Steve, son of Reverend George and Dorothy McDowell, graduated from Asheboro High School in 1966, where he excelled in wrestling and football. He was part of the Asheboro Blue Comets football team that won the 1965 Western North Carolina High School Championship. He went on to earn a degree in Industrial Technology from Western Carolina University in 1970. After college, Steve joined the US Air Force and attended Officer Training School at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, where he was commissioned. He then attended pilot training at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, Texas, where he flew the T-37and T-38. Upon receiving his wings, he trained in the OV-2 aircraft and served as a Forward Air Controller in Vietnam, flying missions from Da Nang. Upon his return from Vietnam, he trained Vietnamese flight students at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, TX.  Steve then joined the Tennessee Air National Guard and flew the KC-135 from Knoxville. He was hired by Piedmont Airlines (later acquired by US Airways) in 1980, primarily flying the 737 aircraft. He flew until his retirement in 2010.

Steve was passionate about his family, woodworking, music, and service to the church. He enjoyed being a member of the Bethlehem United Methodist Church choir. Inspired by the outreach mission at his father’s church, Back Creek Friends Meeting, he helped establish the Bethlehem UMC Good Neighbor Fund in 1992. He continued to help the broader community by administering the fund, leading community projects, and organizing regular Good Neighbor Fund BBQs to raise money to assist those in need. This fund continues to support people in the Davie County community.

Steve’s love of woodworking was evidenced in many ways. He was generous with his talents and could often be found working on maintenance and building projects at Bethlehem UMC, including the creation of the baptismal font and partnering with Roy Sofley to make the wooden cross behind the pulpit. Steve also had his own woodworking and cabinet shop where he made furniture and gifts for friends and family over the years.

He also loved to spend time outdoors hiking, camping, and hunting. With the assistance of family and friends, he built a family log cabin near Boone where his children and grandchildren have created many memories and still love to visit.

Steve is survived by: his wife, Judy Anne Parker, whom he married on Aug. 31, 1969; their daughters and spouses, Heather and Deke Egger of South Riding, Va., and Melanie and JD Roche of Lewisville; his 5 grandchildren, Caroline Anne Egger, Jackson Sawyer McDowell Roche, Charlotte Tate Egger, Colleen Parker Roche, and Liam Paxton Wilson Roche; and his brothers and sisters-in-law, Kenneth and Kathy McDowell, Nolan and Joyce McDowell, and Joy McDowell; as well as several nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his father George, his mother Dorothy, his sister Carolyn Cox, and his brother Jerry McDowell.

Steve was a man of integrity, kindness, and generosity. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and all those whose lives he touched.

A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held at Bethlehem United Methodist Church on Saturday, March 25 at 2 p.m., then receiving friends in the Family Life Center from 3:30-5.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to: Bethlehem UMC Good Neighbor Fund, 321 Redland Road, Advance, NC 27006.

Online condolences: www.hayworth-miller.com.