Lowell Lester Downum, age 92, passed away at his home in Council Hill, OK on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 with his family by his side. He was born on December 20,1924 in Stidham, OK to Christopher Columbus and Virgie Mae (Turner) Downum.
Lowell was raised in a household with ten siblings; seven brothers and three sisters. He spent his adolescence like many during the Great Depression; living light and working hard. Lowell put the livelihood of his family first and forgo his education to tend the family farm. Oklahoma was much different in Lowell's childhood than the Oklahoma we know today. Droughts and wind erosion lead to the Dust Bowl amidst the biggest economic collapse in history. This adversity lead to Lowell's strong spirit and inspired him to enter the United States Navy. During his military career, he became a Frogman and was stationed at Pearl Harbor during the bombing of 1941 and fought in the battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. Lowell was a decorated veteran and had a great sense of pride about his service to our country. He had a love for hot rods and dreamed of having one as a child, so Lowell made it a priority to purchase his first hot rod as soon as he exited the service. Lowell then moved to California in 1951 and began his career with the Army Corp of Engineers as a Bulldozer operator. He then moved back to his home state and worked on many important projects with the Army Corp of Engineers such as the Eufaula Dam, and Lake Eufaula itself. He also helped move the iconic Katy Depot Train Station in Checotah Oklahoma. Lowell owned the third largest pig farm in Oklahoma and was featured in Farmers and Stockman Magazine. He started a bulldozer service and ran it until his retirement. In 1977, he married the love of his life, Wanda Garrett in Reno, NV. This marriage would last the rest of Lowell's life and fill it full of many wonderful laughs and memories, Lowell Lester Downum our Patriarch created his legacy and he lives this legacy through his family. We will forever love him.
Lowell is survived by his loving wife, Wanda; children, Larry (Cindy) Garrett, Wendy (Russell) Cannon, Tina Bradford, Lowella Oldham and Sarah Wrobbel; 14 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; five great great-grandchildren and three brothers, Albert, Charles and Vester; many nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents; son, Johnnie Downum; three sisters and four brothers.
A Memorial Service will be held in Lowell's honor at Country Side Baptist Church, Counci Hill, on Monday, April 3rd at 10am with Rev. Roger Miller officiating. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to The Honor Flight Network, 175 S. Tuttle Rd. Springfield, OH 45505.
The family of Lowell Lester Downum has entrusted his cremation and services to Clifford D Garrett Family Funeral Home & Cremation Service 1224 Poplar/PO Box 1973 Fort Gibson, OK 918-478-2555.
Online condolences may be left at clifforddgarrettfamilyfh.com
Published on April 1, 2017