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Obituary (MD): Alexander Willis K. McDowell '55

Posted on 02/28/2018

Alexander W. K. McDowell

Alexander "Bill" McDowell of Annapolis, MD, and Gore, VA, died Wednesday February 21, 2018, in the Blue Ridge Hospice Inpatient Care Center, Winchester, VA. Mr. McDowell was born November 17, 1930, in Brooklyn, NY, the son of the late Capt. & Mrs. P. E. McDowell. He attended St. James School, Landon School, and graduated from Bullis in 1950. He attended the United States Naval Academy '54 and graduated from Allegheny College, class of '55, becoming a commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force. After serving in the Air Force until 1958, he began to build Cove Lake in Gore, VA which opened for business in 1960. The lake inspired the development of the Cove Campground which his family still operates. Although he did many things in his life, this was his favorite place to be. He loved the out-of-doors and took pleasure in making people happy. In 1960 he left the Cove and operated a marine construction business building piers and dredging waterways up and down the Chesapeake Bay. In 1965 he went to work for Ellicott Machine Corp. in Baltimore, MD. He travelled all over the world for 25 years selling and constructing sea-going and mining dredges. He held many patents in his field. Returning to the Cove in 1972, he continued to upgrade the campground. In 1991 he returned to the Cove full-time and remained active in managing it until the final years of his life. He married his wife of 49 years, Ann Forestell, in Severna Park, MD, on October 5, 1968. Surviving with his wife are two sons, Willis McDowell (Linnzi) and Daniel McDowell (Sabrina) both of Gore; a sister Azalea Leckszas (Manfred) of Annapolis; four grandchildren, Thomas, Charlotte, Willow, and Bodhi; his mother-in-law Kitty Forestell of Winchester; 6 nieces and nephews and a host of grand and great nieces and nephews; as well as his faithful canine companion Maya. He was preceded in death by his twin brother P. E. McDowell, Jr. The family would like to thank the many caregivers of Right at Home and Spring Arbor Assisted Living who looked after him during the last year, as well as the nurses and staff of Blue Ridge Hospice. Funeral arrangements will be private. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Blue Ridge Hospice, 333 W. Cork St., Winchester, VA 22601, or the Alzheimer's Association. Online condolences may be left at

Published in The Capital Gazette on Feb. 28, 2018