On December 24, 2016, Former Severn Fire Chief Eric Dowell passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family. Eric faced a battle with ALS with courage and dignity, dying at the age of 62.
Eric was born in Toronto, Ontario to Dorthy and Tom Dowell (who was firefighter with the Toronto Fire Services at the time). The Dowell’s moved to Floral Park around 1967 where Eric and his siblings grew up. In 1974 Eric married Sandra Smallwood (Dowell) and they spent the next 42 years together in Severn raising their three children and welcoming their grandchildren.
Eric worked at former Dominion Lumber (Home Hardware)in Orillia for 24 year then joining the Severn Fire Department as a volunteer in 1988 working through the ranks within the department then in 1999 became Deputy Fire Chief. In 2005 he was promoted to Fire Chief and served in this position until February 2015 due to being diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and went on leave. He was known by his colleagues for his calm demeanor on even the most chaotic emergency scenes and he put his life on the line daily for his community. Eric loved what he did.
He will be remembered forever by his loving wife Sandra Dowell, his children Chad (Jaime), Corby (Sarah) and Crystal (Kris Plas) as well as his 7 grandchildren: Lukas, Samantha, Anika, Hawklyn, Nadara, Linkoln and Malcolm. He is also survived by his mother Dorthy and Predeceased by his father Thomas Dowell, and his siblings Diane, Gord (Michele) and Dave (Kathryn) He was a devoted husband, loving father and cherished Grandpa. He will be remembered always by in-laws Roberta Smallwood and late Howard Smallwood, Bob Smallwood (Jane), Cheryl and Dave Basta, Tracey and Orfeo Marson-Smallwood and numerous nieces and nephews.
Eric has been cremated and a celebration of life will be held at Mariposa Inn & Conference Centre (400 Memorial Avenue, Orillia) on Saturday January 7 at 1 pm.
Eric’s family wishes to extend a most sincere thank you to all his friends, colleagues and the entire community for their support through this battle.
Special thanks are extended to: Dr. T. Lobsinger, The ALS Society of Simcoe County, Township of Severn, Severn Firefighters and Simcoe County Fire Chiefs.
If so desired, memorial donations may be made to the ALS Society of Canada online at www.als.ca, by mail at 393 University Avenue, Suite 1701 Toronto, ON M5G 1E6 or at the Mundell Funeral Home. Messages of condolence are welcomed at www.mundellfuneralhome.com.
Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de Eric Robert Dowell – 2016.source
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