VALCOUR — Mary "Mimi" Haskell McDowell, 86, of Valcour, died Monday July 14, 2014, at home.
She was born on April 18, 1928, in Bradford, Penn., the daughter of Richard M. and Helen (Dickson) Haskell.
She was a 1949 graduate of Connecticut College. At Connecticut College one of her classmates, Peg McDowell, arranged a blind date for Mimi with her brother Dave, a 1st classman at the U.S. Naval Academy. Their friendship renewed when Dave attended submarine school in Groton, Conn. Mimi married David Barber McDowell of Plattsburgh on July 29, 1950. They had three sons Rob (1951), David (1953), and William (1956) and a daughter, Mary Katherine (1960).
The McDowell's moved to Plattsburgh in 1958 for Dave tojoin his father, Dr. Edward S. McDowell, in his medical practice and Mimi became very involved in the Plattsburgh community. Over the years she served on several charitable boards, including the CVPH Women's Auxiliary, the CVPH Foundation, the Children's Home (later the Northern New York Center), the Northern Adirondack Planned Parenthood, and the Kent Delord House Garden Club. In 1967, Mimi helped form the local chapter of the League of Women Voters and she became their inaugural president. She was active for many years in the Adirondack Lakes Pony Club, and she was the longest serving docent for the Plattsburgh State Art Museum.^After the death of her husband in 2004, Mimi hosted New Year's Eve parties for her fellow single woman friends. These festive gatherings became the basis for the "Better Way", a broad group of women who supported one another and met every month to discuss ways to navigate the "third age". Mimi will be remembered for her resilience, her devotion to her family, her laughter, her love of books, her love of friends, her no—nonsense advice, her expertise in the garden, her sartorial splendor, and for driving a Norwegian fjord horse in a cart along Route 9 South.
Mimi is survived by her two sons and daughters—in—law, Rob and Jan McDowell of Beekmantown, Bill and Britt—Marie McDowell of Plattsburgh; and by her daughter and son—in—law, Kate McDowell and Dave Rider of Burlington, Vt; nine grandchildren, Damian, Brooke, and Parker Stafford, David McDowell, Nina, Sam, and Olivia McDowell, and Will and Jack Rider; and several great—grandchildren.
Ms. McDowell was predeceased by her husband David; her son David; her brother Richard Kent Haskell, and her parents.
A memorial service for Mimi will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 2 at the First Presbyterian Church, 34 Brinkerhoff St., Plattsburgh, N.Y.
Donations in her memory may be made to Northern Adirondack Planned Parenthood, 66 Brinkerhoff Street, Plattsburgh, NY 12901, the CVPH Medical Center Foundation, 75 Beekman Street, Plattsburgh, NY 12901, the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, 4472 Basin Harbor Road, Vergennes, VT 05491, or to the Strand Theater Restoration, c/o North Country Cultural Center, 23 Brinkerhoff Street, Plattsburgh, NY 12901.
The McDowell family expresses their gratitude to the many people who cared for Mimi during her decline in health, particularly Dr. Bill Pelton and Dana Gunn, NP, as well as her home health providers, Amanda Holmes, Jackie Daniels, and Shirley Provost. The family also wishes to extend appreciation to Frank and Penney Lovely for their many years of support and friendship.
Arrangements are entrusted to Brown Funeral Home, 29 Broad Street, Plattsburgh, NY 12901 (518) 561—3980. Online condolences and memorial candles may be offered at www.brown funeralhomeinc.com.