Remembering Elder Henry “Hank” Dowdell |LRC NEWS
It is with sadness we share the passing of Elder Henry “Hank” Dowdell, a stalwart member of the City Temple SDA Church. Elder Dowdell was born February 5, 1928, in Detroit, Michigan to the union of Emaline Prince and Wilbur Dowdell. He was raised by his loving grandmother, Frances Prince, due to the passing of his mother during childbirth. Henry grew up surrounded by several of his aunts and uncles (Addison Prince, Queen Esther Bell, Luburnice Hines, Viney Solomon to name a few) who considered Henry to be a younger sibling.
Henry attended Hartford Seventh-day Adventist elementary school and graduated from Detroit Eastern High School. Henry also took several college classes at Wayne State University. Henry served in Japan while in the United States Army and received an Honorable Discharge in July 1947 with the rank of Corporal.
On May 29, 1948, Henry married the love of his life, Leah Anne Hinton. Henry and Anne would often laugh about how they spent the day following their marriage planting and placing flowers on family members’ graves at the cemetery because it was a tradition the family followed on Memorial Day. Hank and Anne enjoyed over 70 wonderful years together. God blessed their union with one daughter, Deborah Louise. Henry loved his family and especially enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and spoiling them with gifts.
Henry always loved the Lord and was baptized in the spring of 1949, by Elder J. W. Allison at the Hartford Avenue Seventh-day Adventist Church, a precursor to the City Temple Seventh-day Adventist Church in Detroit, Michigan. Henry was a faithful and active member of the City Temple Seventh-day Adventist Church. He served in many capacities over fifty years including Sabbath School Teacher, Lay Ministry Director, First Elder, Chairman of the building project of Peterson Academy (formerly known as Peterson Warren Academy), and Chairman of the church renovation committee when the roof collapsed. Henry also served on the Lake Region Conference Executive Committee, Lake Union Conference Union Executive Committee, and was a delegate from the Lake Union Committee to the 1995 General Conference held in Utrecht, Netherlands.
In a review of the Elder Dowdell’s life and service, Dr. R. Clifford Jones, president of the Lake Region Conference, stated. “It is the dedication and contribution of individuals such as Elder Dowdell who have served the Conference and the Adventist church with devotion and distinction that continue to fuel the faith of our community with a strong sense of mission and purpose. Elder Dowdell’s legacy of commitment and sacrifice is worthy of emulation and should be cherished.”
Henry and Anne loved to travel. Their travels included many domestic and international locations, including Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Spain, Israel, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Egypt, London, and Belgium.
Henry worked for the City of Detroit for 39 years. He retired in March 1990. His final position with the City was Executive Administrator for the Department of Public Works. Henry leaves behind to celebrate his life his devoted wife Leah Anne, daughter Debbie (Lynn), three grandchildren Stephen (Jamie), Jennifer (Eddie), Matthew (Jayna), five great-grandchildren, Brooks, Brayden, Cohen, Ellis, and Declan, brother-in-law Edward Hinton, and sister-in-law Roberta Hinton, along with a host of nephews, nieces, cousins, other relatives and friends.
Funeral service for Elder Dowdell was conducted on February 11, 2019, at the City Temple Seventh-day Adventist Church, Detroit, Michigan officiated by Pastor Dwayne Duncombe officiating.