Smith-McCracken Funeral Home

63 High St., Newton, NJ


James J McDowell

March 4, 1947March 23, 2020

On Monday, March 23, 2020, James (Jim) J. McDowell of Sparta (Lake Mohawk), NJ, passed peacefully at Karen Ann Quinlan Home for Hospice in Fredon, NJ, after a long illness.

Jim spent the majority of his youth growing up in the Freehold area of NJ. After High School graduation Jim found himself serving our country in the US Army as a medic stationed in Germany. After completing his military service, Jim attended William Paterson College, earning a degree in education with a focus on special education. After many years of teaching special education in several NJ school districts, Jim retired to pursue his outdoor passions. In addition to teaching, Jim was also a former Sparta realtor, and an antiques and collectibles dealer.

As an avid hiker, Jim had a deep love for the outdoors and hiking. Almost daily, Jim could be found each afternoon in the Sparta Glen, hiking and socializing with local residents. Along with the Sparta Glen, Jim had a special appreciation of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, where often he could be found wading and walking the river at the Walpack Bend. His passion for music was a life-long pursuit, sometimes sharing his experiences at Woodstock or an insightful dissection of song lyric.

Jim will forever be remembered as a compassionate soul who always knew how to infuse some humor and levity into any situation, and always reminded us, “And a River Runs Through it”.

Donations in Jim’s memory can be made to Father John’s Animal Shelter, 50 Father John’s Way, Lafayette, NJ 07848.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Smith-McCracken Funeral Home, 63 High Street, Newton, NJ 07860.


  • Visitation Sunday, March 29, 2020


James J McDowell

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March 29, 2020

Will always remember our walks and talks, your original jokes, and snippets of wisdom. Thanks for the laughs and memories. Enjoy your heavenly hikes… “We’re all just works in progress”.

Doug Radford

March 29, 2020

Rest In Peace my friend. Such great memories from our Lewis and Haring days. Always a smile and a joke