John M. McDowell

October 5, 1929 ~ March 9, 2021 (age 91)


John M. McDowell, 91 yrs. young of Memphis (Jacks Reef) passed away Tuesday, March 9 at St. Joseph’s Hospital. He was born in Solvay to John McDowell and Margaret Gleason. John lived his life in Solvay before joining the Air Force in 1948.  Meeting his wife, Donna, while at Vance AFB, OK., he left the military in 1954, returning to Solvay and soon after to his permanent home on the Seneca River.  Before long he began a job at Sanford Fire Equipment Corp. not only helping to build new trucks but delivering new pumper trucks all over the east coast and eventually he moved on to the Syracuse Fire Dept. from 1983 to 1993 until his retirement working as a fire apparatus mechanic specializing in vehicle pumps.

He was predeceased by his parents, brothers William and Robert, nephews Kreis and Todd McDowell and niece Margie McDowell. John’s wife Donna died in 2016.

Surviving are his daughter, Joyce (Robert) Fagel, of Idaho, and 2 grandchildren, Julie Polangin, and William Smith, nephews Matt, Greg, and Dan McDowell, nieces Cynthia McDowell, Jacqueline Bennett, Kimberly McDowell, and Carolyn Kreis.

Calling hours will be 4-6 p.m. Tuesday, March 23rd at the Bush Funeral Home, 120 E. Main St. (Rt.5) Elbridge.  A Catholic prayer service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 24, at the Onondaga County Veterans Memorial Cemetery Chapel with Air Force Military honors.  On Saturday, March 27, there will be an Irish celebration and toasting at “The Reef Restaurant” in Jacks Reef from 12 to 3p.m. Please stop by.

The family wishes to express its deep appreciation for the loving care given to John by the Covid Staff at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John M. McDowell, please visit our floral store.


March 23, 2021

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Bush Funeral Home of Elbridge
120 E. Main St.
Elbridge, NY 13060

March 24, 2021

11:00 AM
Onondaga County Veterans Memorial Cemetery
Howlett Hill Road
Syracuse, NY 13215

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