Charlotte Marie Steel Dowell, 91, of The Woodlands TX, passed away, on Sunday, September 1, 2019, in Georgetown TX. A private family service is to be held on September 7, 2019.
Charlotte was born on July 30, 1928, in Hamlin TX, to the late John Milton Steel and Vara Lois Thurmon Steel. During infancy, Charlotte’s parents moved her to Abilene TX, where most of her childhood friendships and memories were made. At the ripe old age of 10, Charlotte received her first crown as the May Pole Queen. The crowning did not stop there. While attending Abilene High School, she received several honors, with one being Class Queen. After graduation, Charlotte competed for and won the title of Miss Abilene 1945. Along with this title came the offer of a screen test in Hollywood. Unfortunately, Charlotte’s father did not approve and she had to forego the offer. However, her husband, Jim, has always been very proud of his wife, and never passed up an opportunity to let others know what a beautiful lady he married. Charlotte’s family always considered her to be their queen and matriarch! She was loved deeply by her family.
In 1959 Charlotte married James Dowell, in Abilene TX, and their love story began. Jim always referred to Charlotte as, ‘the love of my life!’ They made many beautiful memories together and most of them involved family. They were an inseparable couple.
Charlotte was very supportive of the Abilene community. She was a member of several Abilene organizations including the Abilene Garden Club, Abilene Women’s Club, Realtor’s Association, and the Fairway Oaks Association. Charlotte loved to dance, and had she not chosen to be a homemaker and mother, her dream was to be a dance instructor. All who knew Charlotte could tell you how much she loved the holidays, especially Christmas! These same people would also tell you how kind, loving, compassionate and witty she was. Charlotte was a member of The Woodlands Church, in The Woodlands TX. She was about family first and was truly devoted to each family member. Before her health became an issue, she never missed sending a birthday card to all of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Charlotte reaped great joy in doing this.
Charlotte is survived by her loving husband of 60+ years, James Dowell of The Woodlands; three daughters, Vicki Hickox of Waco TX, Belinda Branch of Georgetown TX, Debbie Bilberry and husband Bobby Bilberry of The Woodlands TX; 7 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren; 1 sister, Pat Martin and husband Eldon Martin of Providence TX, brother-in-law Major Hub Phipps (US Army, Ret); and her precious grand-dog, Tessie.
Charlotte was preceded in death by two sisters, Billie Phipps and Hazel Greeson; 2 sons-in-law Major Steve Branch (USAF, Ret), Steven Hickox; and stepfather, Vernon Cox.
Pallbearers were Jason Skaggs of Cedar Park TX, Paul Smith of Austin TX, Saxon Richardson of Dallas, Nick Pine of Waco TX, Josh Johnston of Conroe TX, and Josh Booker of Fate TX. Honorary Pallbearers were Bobby Bilberry of The Woodlands TX and Shawn Richardson of Abilene TX.
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