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Jerry McDowell II

Thursday, July 8, 2004

CHARLESTON, Mo. -- Jerry David McDowell II, 37, of Charleston died Sunday, July 4, 2004, at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

He was born Feb. 6, 1967, in Jackson, Miss., son of Jerry David and Maxine Jackson McDowell. He was a member of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Charleston.

Jerry attended Charleston Public Schools, where he graduated with honors in 1985. He attended Harvard University where he studied English. During that time, he authored a series of articles detailing his college experiences for the Enterprise Courier.

He worked as a grant writer for Susanna Wesley Family Learning Center in East Prairie, Mo. He had worked locally as an assistant English teacher and as an assistant alternative school director at Charleston Schools. During his career, he held professional positions at Chrysler Corp., Massachusetts General Hospital, Chicago Board of Trade and the Kettering Foundation.

Jerry was a well-known community leader, often dedicating his time and talents to the Mississippi County community as well as to the entire Southeast Missouri region. He was a former chairman of Southeast Missouri Weed and Seed Inc. executive board and Charleston Weed and Seed Steering Committee. He had served on the board of directors of Mississippi County Nutrition Center, Southeast Missouri Workforce Investment Board, and Charleston Boys and Girls Club.

Other memberships included Southeast Missouri State University Presidential Commission on Minority Affairs, Bootheel Healthy Start, Fathers First Consortium and Southeast Missouri Interagency Committee. In addition, he worked as a consultant to Mission Missouri, Pemiscot Initiative Network, Caruthersville Boys and Girls Club, and Kids Beat.

Survivors include his parents of Charleston; a brother, Dr. Juri (Komo) McDowell of New York City; a sister, Tracy (Jerry) Watt of Memphis, Tenn.; two nieces, Maya Watt and Sona McDowell; a nephew, Cameron Watt; five aunts, Laura Jackson, Dora (Willie) Walker, Essie (Kelly) Wall, Dorothy Streeter, Elvira (William) Yancy; four uncles, Sylvester (Geraldine) Jackson, Willie (Betty) McDowell, Oscar (Norma Jean) McDowell, Alex Jackson; a godchild, Jasmine Jackson; and many relatives and friends.

Friends may call at Williams Funeral Home in Charleston from 6 to 8 p.m. today.

The funeral will be at noon Friday at First Baptist Church, 301 S. Main in Charleston, with the Rev. Willie J. McDowell officiating. Burial will be in Oak Grove Cemetery near Charleston.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the Jerry D. McDowell II Scholarship Fund, c/o Susanna Wesley Family Learning Center, P.O. Box 294, East Prairie, Mo. 63845.