Donnie Lee (Watts) Dowden

Donnie Lee (Watts) Dowden, one of Bryant’s oldest longtime residents, passed away peacefully, Saturday, April 12, 2014 at the age of 93.  Donnie was preceded in death by her husband, Russell H. Dowden, Sr., her parents, Austin J. Watts, and Ura Irene Watts of Bryant.  Also, preceding Mrs. Dowden were sisters Mary Schwaller, Opal Rogers and Winnie Lansdown.  Born in Bryant, Arkansas, on March 27, 1921, Mrs. Dowden is survived by her three children, Russell H. Dowden, Jr. of New Palestine, Indiana, Danny L. Dowden of Manchester, Tennessee, and Donna D. Dowden, of Helena, Montana.  She is also survived by her brother Bill Watts of Benton, and sisters Sissie Farchman of Alexander, and Glenda Watts of Benton.  Mrs. Dowden was blessed with, and is survived by, six grandchildren, nine great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.
A dedicated homemaker, Donnie moved with her husband and children to several locations during Russ’ Army career before settling in Jonesboro, Arkansas – where Russ retired from the military.  Donnie returned to her hometown of Bryant in 1992, following the death of her husband so she could help her siblings care for their aging mother.  In younger years, Donnie was active in bowling, bridge, ceramics, and social clubs associated with Arkansas State University staff and faculty members, PTA, and various charity drives.  Many of her friends remain in the Jonesboro area and she was fond of visiting with them as often as possible.
Her children were the pride of her life and she took satisfaction in their varied achievements.  In recent years, she enjoyed maintaining her home and yard, taking deep pleasure in her independence.  Even as her eyesight failed, she valued and retained her self-reliance, continuing to live independently in her home in Bryant. 
According to her wishes, a graveside memorial was held on Saturday, April 19, 2014 and attended by family and close friends.  The family asks that anyone wishing to make a memorial contribution to please send their donation, in the name of Donnie Lee Dowden, to the Bryant Cemetery, c/o Mrs. Gola Boone, 5900 Boone Road, Bryant, Arkansas 72022-9729.
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