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Canandaigua - James Henry Dowdle, age 93, passed away on October 6th, 2023, at FF Thompson Hospital in Canandaigua, after a brief illness. As per his wishes, there will be no calling hours or funeral. Interment with military honors will be in Bath National Cemetery. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
James was born in Oswego, New York on November 7, 1929, the son of Frank D. Dowdle and Katherine M. (Quinlan) Dowdle. He attended Oswego City Schools. James studied at Oswego Teachers’ College to become an Industrial Arts teacher. He was a member of the Delta Kappa Kappa Fraternity. Upon college graduation, he was drafted into the Korean War and served as Specialist Third Class from July 13, 1954 to July 3, 1956, when he was honorably discharged. Jim received his Master’s Degree from Syracuse University.
James began his teaching career in Harrisville, NY, where he met his future wife, Barbara Jean Eichen, who was the school nurse. James and Barbara married in Harrisville on May 29th, 1957 at St. Francis Solanus Church with Reverend E.A. Kelly officiating, and brother Bill and sister in law Bess as witnesses. James and Barbara just celebrated 66 years of marriage.
After moving to the Syracuse area, James started teaching Industrial Arts at Fayetteville Manlius Central School. His teaching career spanned 1956-1986, teaching a variety of classes including Wood Shop and Driver’s Education. He loved to golf and was the FM Varsity golf coach for many years. James was a meticulous craftsman. He taught Adult Education in his wood shop at the school, working with others to create beautiful pieces of furniture or wood projects.
After moving to Manlius, James and Barbara raised a family with five children at 8280 Kimball Road. After he retired from FM, they moved to Williamsburg VA, where they resided for seven years. They later moved to Norwood, New York to be closer to their children. They lived there for 17 years and then moved to Coxsackie, NY. Their final move was to Canandaigua, in November 2022.
Jim is survived by his wife, Barbara, five children; Patrick James (Carolyn) Dowdle, Massena, NY, Wendy (Leary) Chambers, Chase Mills, NY, Michael (Amelia) Dowdle, Farmington, NY, Matthew (Tammy) Dowdle, Homer, NY, and Katy (Bruce) Drake, Owasco, NY. He is also survived by ten grandchildren Matthew James (Stacey) Dowdle, Sarah Grace (Matthew) Hoag, Blake (Natalie) Dowdle, Troy (Maddy McClure- Companion) Dowdle, MacKenzie (Zach Gillard- companion) Dowdle, Christopher James (Allysa) Chambers, Conner James (Nicole Guastella -companion) Dowdle, Jackson David (Talia Cruz-companion) Dowdle, Emily (Forrest) Shafer, and Madison Drake; five great-grandchildren, Cora and Gabriel Hoag, Declan Dowdle and Kenny and Jaxon Chambers, in addition to several nieces and nephews.
James was predeceased by two brothers, Edward(Bud) and William Dowdle, and his sister Anne Beardsley, all of Oswego.
To honor the memory of James contributions may be made to local food pantries. Planting flowers or an act of neighborly kindness would also be a wonderful way to remember James Henry Dowdle.
Arrangements are by Johnson-Kennedy Funeral Home, Inc., Canandaigua. Condolences may be offered at www.johnsonkennedy.com.