Joanne Mae McDowell

July 24, 1928January 18, 2019

Joanne Mae McDowell, age 90, passed away on Friday morning, January 18th, in Lansdale, PA, where she had resided for five years under the loving care of the staff at the Gwynedd Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, located near her daughter Susan’s home.

Joanne was born on July 24, 1928 and raised in Canton, Ohio. She graduated from Lincoln High School in 1946. Joanne attended Ohio University, Kent State University, Malone College and Stark County Technical College, where she studied personnel and office management. She was married to the late Robert P. McDowell. She was a member of the Westminster Presbyterian Church of Canton. Joanne started her career as a medical transcriptionist, which led to her work as the office manager for Dr. David Smith of Tri County Orthopedic Surgeons. She retired after 27 years and remained active in the Retired Medical Office Managers group. Joanne was a committed volunteer in her community. She was active in the Parent Teacher Association, the American Red Cross of Western Stark County and the United Way and Community Fund of Central Stark County. Joanne may best be known for her longstanding dedication to the Girl Scouts of America and the former Great Trail Girl Scout Council. She became a leader of a Brownie Troop in 1957 and along with her eldest daughter, Patty, continued through the next stages of Girl Scouts: Junior, Cadette and Senior. She remained a leader at the Senior Girl Scout level (Troop 269) for 19 years, mentoring high school girls throughout this time. She was beloved by her Girl Scouts and had a positive and long lasting influence on many young women. In addition to her time as a Girl Scout Troop leader, she was active at the Great Trail Council level, serving on the Board of Directors, as chairperson for various committees and task forces, First Vice President and President of the Board of Directors. She visited three of the Girl Scout/Girl Guide World Centers as well as many conferences in the U.S. In later years, she was active and past chairperson of the Order of the Silver Trefoil, an organization for individuals registered as Girl Scouts for 25 years or more. Joanne’s passion for the environment and the natural world continued throughout her life. She shared her enthusiasm with family and friends by organizing camping, canoeing, birding and hiking adventures. Her curiosity and love of adventure were legendary.

Joanne is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Susan McDowell and Robert Wenger, of Biglerville, PA; and her many loyal friends. In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents, Virgil D. and Ethel L. Steiner; sister, Shirley A. Steiner; and daughter, Patricia A. McDowell.

A Memorial Service will be held at 10:00 AM, February 5, 2019 at Karlo-Libby Funeral Home, 5000 Everhard Road, Canton, OH 44718. A private interment will be in Sunset Hills Burial Park. In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to Memory Hall Girl Scout Archive at 1010 Applegrove St. NW, North Canton 44720 or your local chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.


  • Memorial Service Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Joanne Mae McDowell

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Bobbi Riley

February 4, 2019

My family sends their deepest condolences at the passing of Jo McDowell; a wonderful mother, friend, mentor and truly outstanding woman. She touched so many lives and her spirit and passion will remain with us forever. Rest In Peace Jo.
With love,
John, Bobbi, Iain and Stephanie Riley