John D. McDowell, Bear Trap retiree

September 6, 2019

John D. McDowell, 88, of Millville, formerly of Ellicott City, Md., passed away surrounded by his loving family Monday, Sept. 2, 2019, at Beebe Healthcare in Lewes.

John was born in Burns, Wyo., Aug. 11, 1931, son of the late Walter McDowell and Belle (Steele) McDowell.  He proudly served his country in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War.  

After his discharge, he briefly worked as a capital policeman and then went to work at the United States Capitol in the Senate Document Room, retiring in 1985.  After moving to Delaware in 1999, he worked at Bear Trap as the head landscaper for almost 10 years before completely retiring.

John volunteered countless hours at the Boys & Girls Club in Maryland, where he coached all types of sports.  He loved gardening, working in his yard and was a Redskins fan.  He will be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather and a role model by all who knew him.  

He is survived by his loving wife of 43 years, Virginia (DiFrancis) McDowell; five children, Donna Krajewski of Millville, Michael Minard of Milton, Tommy Minard of New Market, Md., Greg Minard and his wife Kelly of Millsboro, and Shawn McDowell and his wife Jen of Ocean View; and 10 grandchildren, Casey Minard, Natalie Minard, Shane Minard, Michael Krajewski, Tim Krajewski, Madison Minard, Mathew Minard, Courtney Minard, Austin McDowell and Brayden McDowell.

Services and burial are private.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions in John’s name to the American Cancer Society by visiting

Online condolences may be sent by visiting


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