Paul G. Dowden
February 25, 1923 – January 9, 2020
Paul Gordon Dowden 1923-2020
Paul Dowden of Carmel, Indiana peacefully left this world Thursday January the 9th, 2020. He was 96, soon to turn 97. A child of the “Greatest Generation”, Paul was born the youngest of six brothers and sisters on February 25, 1923 on the family farm in Scotland, Indiana to the late John & Pearl (Hassler) Dowden.
Paul grew up during the hard times of the Great Depression. He worked at his parents’ farm in Scotland as a young man and graduated from Odon High School in 1942. Paul loved to tell stories about his youth and his first love, a car, a Ford Model-A Coupe with bright yellow spoke wheels.
Due to America’s declaration of war, Paul was drafted in 1943 at age 19 into the United States Army making him unable to enlist in the United States Navy which was his preference. He proudly served his country during World War II in the European Theatre and the Occupation of Germany. He was a Sharpshooter T4 Sergeant in the U.S. Army Artillery Division responsible for commanding 105mm Howitzer M3 cannons for tactical ground support.
Paul returned to Indianapolis from the war in 1946 to his job at P.R. Mallory, eventually meeting the love of his life, Helen Breiland. Paul and Helen were married in 1948 and lived in Indianapolis for 17 years, then 54 years in Carmel. They recently celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary having shared a loving, devoted, hardworking and generous life together that is a shining example of being the best that you can be. We are all blessed and better people for having known him.
Paul grew up as a tough farm boy and never backed down from a hard day’s work. He was exceptionally mechanically inclined, could fix anything and would take on daunting challenges that most would shy away from. After owning and operating a Standard Oil service station with his brother-in-law, he worked in commercial sales most of his adult life enjoying the personal connections he made and traveling throughout his sales territory.
After retiring from sales, Paul chose to drive a school bus for Carmel Clay Transportation Department. He drove for 20 years, retiring for a second time from bus driving when he was 85. Paul was dearly loved by the school children, their parents, coaches and teachers who often requested him to drive for their field trips all over the state of Indiana. Paul would happily recount the presents and cards he received in gratitude for his dedicated service.
Throughout the years, Paul’s passion for traveling took them to many places including most of the continental United States, Canada, Hawaii, Belgium and Switzerland. Among Paul’s other favorite pastimes were watching college basketball, working outside and riding his lawn tractor. Paul loved the sport of basketball having played it in Jr. High. He especially loved watching his favorite teams, the Indiana University Hoosiers and Indiana Pacers. There was always lots of cheering in the Dowden household during “March Madness” and particularly during the era of the championship ABA Pacers and Bobby Knight’s Hoosiers.
Paul was a strong, kind and honest man who would go out of his way to help you if he could. He was a loyal husband, father and grandfather and will be deeply missed by all. Paul is survived by his beloved wife of 71 years, Helen Irene (Breiland) Dowden; his devoted children, Gary (& Kathy) Dowden, Sandra (& Wilson) Smith, and Richard Dowden; his seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his five siblings; Earl Dowden, Otis Dowden, Curtis Dowden, Mabel Keck and Lula Stuffle.
Visitation will begin at 10:00 am with services following at 11:30 am at Leppert Mortuary -Smith Carmel Chapel located in Carmel, Indiana. Please Note: The interment will be held at Scotland Cemetery in southern Indiana following the services. Scotland Cemetery is located just off of I-69 in the town of Scotland and is 105 miles southwest (approximately 2hrs) from the funeral service location in Carmel.
- Visitation Friday, January 17, 2020
- Funeral Service Friday, January 17, 2020
- Graveside Service Friday, January 17, 2020