Dr. Donald England McDowell

Donald England McDowell, son of the late Harry C. and Helen England McDowell, was born in Zion, Cecil County, Maryland on October 23, 1924. When he was two years old his parents moved to nearby Calvert, Maryland, where he grew up. He graduated from Calvert High School in 1941. He has two brothers, David M. McDowell (deceased) and H. Clay McDowell, residing in Calvert.

Dr. McDowell graduated with honors from Wheaton College, Wheaton Illinois in 1946 and from Temple University, School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1947. He served in the U.S. Army from 1943-46 while attending medical school. He married May Vanderpoel in 1945. He served an internship at the US Marine Hospital, New York City, and a general surgical residency at the Veterans Administration hospitals of New York City. He was called to active duty during the Korean War and served in Paraguay, South America, as Chief of the Medical Section of the Institute of InterAmerican Affairs under Nelson Rockefeller (1951-53). He completed a residency in cardiothoracic surgery at Presbyterian-University of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia (1953-54). After attending New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary for a semester, he returned to Paraguay as a missionary surgeon under the Southern Baptist Board of Foreign Missions serving as Chief of Surgery at the Baptist Hospital in Asuncion, Paraguay from 1955-74.


Don and May had six children: Duncan E. McDowell, a retired professor of English at the University of South Carolina, Clyde B. McDowell (deceased), a pastor and president of Denver Seminary, Glenn N. McDowell, a pastor in Philadelphia, Heather S. McDowell, deceased as an infant in Paraguay, Bruce A. McDowell, a Presbyterian minister in Philadelphia, and Melody M. Istrati, Missions Director of a church in Bethesda, Maryland.

Don's marriage to May dissolved and he married Amada Paredes of Coronel Oviedo, Paraguay in 1974. They have two daughters, Joy M. Beckwith, a physical therapist in Larchmont, New York, and Bonnie L. Welch, an HRIS Specialist living in Kent, Washington.


Dr. McDowell served as director of the Physician Assistant Program at Alderson-Broaddus College, Philippi, WV, 1973-75 then served as chief of the Surgical Service at the VA Hospital in Clarksburg, WV from 1975-80. He served as chief of the Vascular Surgery Section at the West Virginia University School of Medicine 1980-98. He was a Professor of Surgery at West Virginia University 1975-2001. He retired in 2001 as Emeritus Professor.

Dr. McDowell was board certified in general surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, and vascular surgery, and contributed over 50 articles to the surgical literature. He had eight children, twenty-one grandchildren, and twenty-four great-grandchildren. He was an active member of The Christian and Missionary Alliance Church of Morgantown, West Virginia, where he served as elder, Sunday School teacher, and International Committee member. He was president of the West Virginia Chapter of the American College of Surgeons and member of the Board of Directors of the Southeastern Surgical Congress. While in Paraguay, he taught in the School of Nursing and started the first surgical residency in Paraguay. He founded and for a year pastored the Good News Baptist Church in Asuncion, Paraguay.

Dr. McDowell went to be with his Lord on January 30, 2019, at Sundale Nursing Home, with his loving wife, Amada, of 44 years at his side.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 23, 2019, at The Christian and Missionary Alliance Church, 308 Elmhurst Street, Morgantown. Visitation with the family is at 10 am followed by a service at 11 am with Pastor Douglas Miller officiating.

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