Martha Duncan McDowell
Martha Duncan McDowell
September 29, 2011
Martha Duncan McDowell passed away Thursday, September 29, 2011, after a lengthy illness. She was the oldest daughter and the second of five children born to Dan and Florence Duncan at Rockwood, Franklin County, Alabama. She graduated from Russellville High School in 1936 and later that summer, on August 28, married William Kemper McDowell. They enjoyed 73 wonderful years together until his death on Christmas Day 2009, separated only by his service in the Pacific Theater in World War II.
Martha was named Miss Franklin County during her senior year in high school and was always an active member of her church and community. After their marriage she and Kemper followed his work throughout the TVA system in Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and North Carolina. Each new home was embraced with enthusiastic participation in church, school and community activities.
She served as Sunday School teacher, WMU officer, GA Leader, and committee member in numerous churches from Rockwood Baptist, Russellville First Baptist, Bridgeport, Ala., Gallatin, Tenn., Highland Baptist (Florence, Ala., Arab, Ala., Kingston, Tenn., Decherd, Tenn., Athens, Ala.) and Red Bank First Baptist (Chattanooga), where she also served on the pastor selection committee. She had a heart for the mission field. An active member of The Order of Eastern Star, she served in many offices including Worthy Matron at Russellville. She was a past president of the Book Lovers Club.
She loved to entertain and her home was always open to friends and family. A true “southern lady” she was gracious and sweet and kind to all. A devout Christian, she loved her God, family, friends, country, and Auburn University. She and Kemper were season ticket holders for Auburn football for many years.
Martha was predeceased by her husband; her parents; and a sister, Carrie Grissom. She is survived by hers sons, Bill McDowell and wife, Edith, of Counce, Tenn., and Danny McDowell and wife, Paula, of Russellville, Ala.; brothers, Dr. Daniel Duncan, of Portsmouth, Va., and Tom Duncan, Hope, Ark.; and sister, Kathryn Cooper, of Opelika, Ala. She has ten grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren who loved “Mimi’s” cookies and candy and the every afternoon “tea party”.
She had a special group who loved and cared for her through her illness; Faye, Beth, Jane, Ruby, Jessie, Nell, Wanda, Kelly, Tyra, Misty, Valerie, Buddy, and others. The family will be forever grateful to them for what they did.
She and Kemper’s favorite Bible verse was framed above their bed – “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”—Proverbs 3:6.
Services will be at 3 p.m., Sunday, October 2, 2011, at Pinkard Funeral Home, Russellville, with visitation from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Officiating will be Brother Barry Holcomb; grandchildren will serve as pallbearers.