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West Plains, MO Location (417) 256-4141

Thayer, MO Location (417) 264-7242


   James Robert McDowell was born the son of Raymond McDowell and Lois Genevieve “Jennie” McDonald on January 6, 1941, in Kelly Hollow, Carter County, Missouri. He departed this life on February 14, 2024, surrounded by loved ones at his home in Calm, Missouri, at the age of 83.

   James was united in marriage to Janice Baker on April 7, 1962, in Calm, Missouri.

   Surviving James is his wife Janice (nee Baker); two children, Cynthia Wolpert (Stephen) of Lake Forest, Illinois, and Steve McDowell (Katie) of Warrenton, Missouri; two grandchildren, Adrienne Morris (Clint) and Natalie McDowell (Dan Filipek); brother David McDowell (Ella) of Franklin, Ohio, sister Ann Melton (Winfred) of Van Buren, Missouri, and brother Tom McDonald (Janet) of Hampshire, Tennessee; several nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, and other relatives and many friends.

   James was preceded in death by his father, Raymond McDowell; mother, Lois Genevieve McDonald; and special Dad, James Dorris McDonald; brother Joe McDonald, sister Sue Fagan, and brother Ralph McDowell; and beloved grandson, Robert “Bob” Joseph Hanlon.

   Growing up, James was a standout basketball player for the Couch Indians. A hardworking man, James spent 30 years working in various positions at General Motors. After retirement, he moved back to Calm with his wife, Janice, where they raised cattle and farmed the land. James most enjoyed spending time with his family. He loved hunting, fishing, gardening, storytelling, and boating on Ozark lakes. One of James’s favorite pastimes was playing pranks, and his prank-pulling earned him the nickname “Hacksaw Jim” at General Motors.

   As a member of the Calm Community, James always lent a helping hand to his neighbors, served as a member of the Gatewood Volunteer Fire Department, and as President of the Liberty Cemetery Committee.

   James was a Christian and belonged to Liberty Free Will Baptist Church. Those who knew him as a loving husband, great dad, jokester grandpa, supportive brother, mentor, and friend will have fond memories and stories to tell. God blessed this world with a good man who will be missed by all who knew him.

Officiating the services will be Reverend Richard Robinson and the singers will be the Howell Family. Pallbearers will be : Micheal Gazaway, Josh McDonald, Jordan McDonald, Tom McDonald, Keegan Melton, Clint Morris, and Dan Filipek.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Jude’s Research 



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 Funeral services will be held on Sunday, February 18, 2024, at 2:00 p.m.  at the Liberty Freewill Baptist Church of Calm (Gatewood), Missouri.

Visitation will be Saturday, February 17, 2024 from 4:00p.m. – 7:00p.m. at the Carter Funeral Home Chapel in Thayer, Missouri.

Visitation will be held on Sunday, February 18, 2024, at 1:00 p.m. at the Liberty Freewill Baptist Church of Calm ( Gatewood), Missouri. 

 Interment will be on Sunday, February 18, 2024, in Liberty  Cemetery, Calm(Gatewood), Missouri with services under the direction of Carter Funeral Home, Inc. in Thayer, Missouri.



  1. Barbara Hoyt
    February 16, 2024 @ 12:32 pm

    We were saddened to hear of the passing of James. He was a great classmate and always a pleasure to be around.

    Remembered fondly for his outstanding basketball skills and his ever positive attitude. With sadness we say goodbye to another 1959 Couch High School classmate.

    Condolences to Ginger and his entire family which he was so proud of.


  2. Marv and Molly Hendershot
    February 16, 2024 @ 9:16 pm

    Marv and I are for your great loss. God be with you and your family!! Marv and Molly Hendershot


  3. Pam
    February 21, 2024 @ 3:35 am

    I am sorry for your loss. Prayers for your family.


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