Cover photo for Joseph A. McDowell Sr.'s Obituary
Joseph A. McDowell Sr. Profile Photo
1940 Joseph 2019

Joseph A. McDowell Sr.

September 14, 1940 — January 13, 2019

Obituary for Joseph A. McDowell Sr.

Baileyville – Joseph A. McDowell Sr., 78, passed away on January 13, 2019 at a Bangor Hospital. Joseph was born on September 14, 1940 to Peter and Priscilla (Wheaton) McDowell in Princeton where he spent his childhood. After graduating from Princeton High School in 1958, Joe began working in the lumberyard at the Princeton Mill but soon after enlisted in the United States Army.

Joe served during the Vietnam War as an Airborne Ranger where he was awarded a Purple Heart, he also spent time in both Korea and Germany. He later served as an Army recruiter and was recognized as a top recruiter for the State of Maine in the 1970’s. By the end of his 28-year career Joe earned the rank of Master Sargent and was recognized for many accomplishments and awarded several medals including the Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal 1st Class, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm and many others.

On April 12, 1973 Joseph married Gloria Black in Portland. Together they saw many new towns but that didn’t deter the family life. Joseph was an extremely devoted husband, father and grandfather, that, although he showed a hard exterior, had a warm heart and would always put his family first.

After retiring from the Army at age 48 Joe went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Maine at Augusta. During his down time, he enjoyed collecting and researching interesting coins.

In addition to his parents, Joe was predeceased by his daughter, Joanne Babbitt; his sister, Patricia Hamilton; brothers, Michael and Claude and an infant brother.

He is survived by his wife of over 45 years, Gloria M. McDowell; five children, Tina Ramsey and her husband Roger of TN, Dawn Moore and her husband Jack of Waterboro, Terri Lynn Sawyer of Harpswell, Joseph A. McDowell Jr. and his wife Melody of MT and Jobina McDowell and her companion Doug Fortin of Richmond; thirteen grandchildren, Elizabeth, Christine, Brian, Jimmy, Zachary, Nichole, Heather, Sandra, Stephen, Lisa, Elizabeth, Delaney and Makayla; several great grandchildren and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Donation’s in Joe’s memory can be made to either The American Cancer Society at or the Nation Kidney Foundation at A graveside service will be held at 1:00 pm, Saturday, May 11th at Princeton Cemetery. Arrangements by Mays Funeral Home, Calais & Eastport.


Air Assault Badge


Army Commendation Medal

Army Overseas Service Ribbon

Army Presidential Unit Citation

Army Recruiter Badge

Army Service Ribbon

Combat Infantry Badge

Good Conduct Medal

U.S. Meritorious Service Medal

National Defense Service Medal

Parachutist Badge U.S.

Purple Heart, Oak Leaf Cluster

Ranger Tab

Special Forces Airborne

US Army Airborne

US Army Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon

US Army Valorous Unit Commendation

Vietnam Campaign Medal

Vietnam Gallantry Cross

Vietnam Service Medal
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