Feb 26, 2008

Remembering a life devoted to service

by Drew Menard

Editor’s Note: James R. Dowdy, 61, died after suffering a physical ailment while driving that led to him crashing into the Williams Stadium Fieldhouse on Liberty’s campus on Feb. 9. Dowdy was a resident of Lynch Station, Va., but had worked at the local Wal-Mart on Wards Road for the past few years. This article is offered in recognition of his life and legacy. 
James Dowdy is remembered by his coworkers at the Wards Road Wal-Mart as a kind and caring person who did whatever he could to help others.
“Anyone could tell you he was a nice person,” coworker Linda Frey said.
Dowdy was the type of person who would talk about “anything and everything with everybody,” said Frey. “He never met a stranger.”
When the name James Dowdy is mentioned around the store, eyes light up. Just about any associate in the front end could tell a story of how his personality impacted the Wal-Mart community.
Frey fondly remembers how he used to bring in desserts to share with his coworkers in the break room. She smiled softly as she recalled the way he happily shared his joy with the world.
“He always thought about other people,” Frey said.
Sharon Trent, who worked with Dowdy as a greeter, remembers how enthusiastic he was to help out around the store, and how he was always willing to work in any department that needed help.
“He spoke kindly to everybody,” said Trent. “He would do what he could for anybody who would come in.”
Dowdy was a Christian man who cared for his mother, Maude Singleton Dowdy. The two lived together in Lynch Station. Dowdy was a member of Church of God of Prophecy of Altavista for a number of years and became a member of Thomas Road Baptist Church (TRBC) just a short time before his death.
Frey and Trent both describe him as a devout Christian man who was dedicated to service.
Dowdy was an insurance agent in Altavista before working as a greeter at Wal-Mart. He planned on retiring in two months, according to Trent.
Dowdy is survived by his mother, a sister who currently lives in Tennessee, and one niece and one nephew.

Contact Drew Menard at ajmenard@liberty.edu.

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