Cover photo for Donald Keith McDowell's Obituary
Donald Keith McDowell Profile Photo

Donald Keith McDowell

October 16, 1948 — May 15, 2024

Baton Rouge

Donald Keith McDowell

Donald Keith McDowell, age 75, died on May 15, 2024 in his home in Baton Rouge, after a long battle with Cancer.  He was born on October 16, 1948, in Bienville, Louisiana to Mary Evelyn Toms.  Don spent his first few years living with his mother and brother in Bienville, until his mother, Mary Evelyn Toms married Robert Edwin McDowell and they moved to Shreveport in 1952.  Don and his brother Ron were adopted by Robert (Buddy) McDowell in 1956. He graduated Byrd High School in 1966.  He received a degree in History from Louisiana Tech University and a Masters of Divinity from Iliff School of Theology.  He was ordained an elder in the United Methodist Church in 1975. Don was the founding pastor of St. Timothy UMC in Mandeville and served St. Luke’s UMC in Shreveport. His final congregation was St. John’s UMC in Baton Rouge. He also spent two years as the Director of Church Relations at Centenary College in Shreveport.  

Upon leaving the pastorate, Don worked at a rehabilitation non-profit until he found his ideal job, working with The Nature Conservancy, an organization he had supported for years. He was first the Director of Volunteers and later The Director of Philanthropy, a position which enabled him to raise millions of dollars supporting funds to protect the last of the great places.

He was predeceased by his parents, Robert and Mary Evelyn Toms McDowell, and his brother, Ronald Douglas McDowell.

He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Patricia Olano Cox McDowell. He is also survived by his son Christopher Keith McDowell (wife Casey and their sons Hayden and Thomas), and his daughter, Kelly Elizabeth McDowell Wells (husband Brendan Wells). In addition, he is survived by his wife’s two sons, Loren Cox (wife Sarah and son River) and Kyle Cox (wife Hannah and son Leyland).

He is survived by his brother, Robert Edwin McDowell, Jr. (wife Nancy), and his sisters Mary Margaret (Mimi) McDowell and Robin Elizabeth McDowell. Also survived by stepbrothers, Charles Henington (wife Angie) and David Henington (husband Dominic Salinas).

In 1999, Don married Patricia Olano Cox. Don and Pat loved working together in the yard, spending time with their four grandsons and their families, and many annual trips to the beach. They loved camping, and kayak fishing in the coastal marshes, and attending LSU Women’s basketball games and Men’s baseball games. Don enjoyed hiking, biking, backpacking in the mountains, photography, and was an avid reader.

A memorial service for Don’s life will be celebrated at a later date.

The family would like to say a special thanks to Clarity Hospice, especially our case manager Virginia, for their expert and compassionate care.
 
Donations may be made to: The Nature Conservancy of Louisiana, 205 N 4th St, Baton Rouge, LA 70801, https://preserve.nature.org/page/145311/donate/1;  
Clarity Hospice, 9191 Bluebonnet Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA 70810;
or Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, Attn: Office of Development, 4950 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70809, https://marybird.org/
















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