It is with much sadness that we say goodbye to Charles Eugene McDowell, age 69. He passed away on April 26, 2023. Charlie was born on September 2, 1953 in Kalispell, Montana to LeRoy McDowell and Beverly Parker-Schwarz. He went to Flathead High School and graduated in 1971.
Charles, also known as “Charlie Mac” began playing drums at age 13. He had a solid reputation as being a “pocket drummer.” His early influences were Cream, Deep Purple, Steppenwolf, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave and BB King just to name a few. The music genres he loved to play were rock n roll, soul, “Sam and Dave, Wilson Pickett,” and R & B. Charlie played both country and western over the years and did a 3 year stint from 1974 to 1977 playing disco at a large venue named “Uncle Sam’s” in Houston, Texas. In the 80’s he joined a classic rock band called the “Average Brothers Band” and played all on Montana’s fair circuit, corporate functions, and special concerts. The band had theme specific sets and changed stage clothes to reflect the music era. While living in Seattle, Washington, he and his friends formed a band called the “Astro Cats.”
Charlie got his start in the insurance business while working at Sears. Around 1987 he was employed by the Ellingson Agency in Kalispell, Montana and around 1990 he met the love of his life and whom he referred to as “Baby Face,” Kathryn in Sun Valley, Idaho. That was the beginning of a beautiful new chapter in his life. He moved to Seattle and became employed by Liberty Mutual Insurance in Bellevue, Washington. He retired after 24 years in 2014 and in 2016 Charlie and Kathryn moved back to Kalispell, Montana to be closer to family.
Charlie loved numerous sports and competed in downhill snow skiing and water skiing. One of his passions was fast cars and a good golf swing.
Charlie was preceded in death by his father LeRoy McDowell and mother Beverly Parker-Schwarz, as well as the love of his life Kathryn Haws McDowell who passed away on April 26, 2019.
He is survived by his stepmother Landa McDowell, two sons Justin (Scarlett) Sherman, Ryan Suarez, siblings Sherry Stewart, Christy (Steve) Doty, Debbie (Steve) Haegele, Belinda (Don) Doty, Paul Jackson, grandchildren Hayden and Mia Sherman, Lexia Suarez, and numerous nieces and nephews.
A graveside service will be held at 1:00pm on June 17,2023, at Conrad Memorial Cemetery followed by a Celebration of Life at Buffalo Hill Golf Course in Kalispell, Montana.