John R. Dowd, Sr.
John R. Dowd, Sr., who served as County Attorney for Okaloosa County for over forty years, passed away peacefully on November 8, 2020. John was born on August 31, 1942 in DeRidder, Louisiana. He was preceded in death by his mother, Marjorie Dowd Sawyer and stepfather, Buzz Sawyer. He is survived by his beloved wife of 35 years, Carol Dowd, sister, Margie S. Murphy (Ed), son, John R. Dowd, Jr. (Martha), daughter, Tracy Overman, stepchildren, Tracy Gifford Chlebo (Paul) and Angela Crutchfield, many wonderful grandchildren including Chelsea Dowd, Lacey Dowd, Bailey Brooks, Trevor Brooks, Reese Overman, Marcus Crutchfield, Amanda Wiggins, and his nephew Daniel Jones and niece, Laura Claire Jones.
John attended Choctawhatchee High School and graduated from St. Bernard Prep School in Cullman, Alabama. His undergraduate studies were at the University of Florida. He was in the charter class at Florida State University College of Law, in which every member passed the Florida Bar Exam on the first attempt. After he graduated from law school, he came back to Fort Walton Beach and entered practice with his father-in-law, Ernest Wimberly. John later became the Okaloosa County Attorney, for which he served the longest tenure of any County Attorney ever in the State of Florida. He was a brilliant lawyer and assisted the County Commission in negotiating countless contracts to improve the quality of life of the citizens of Okaloosa County. He loved Okaloosa County and was honored to have the privilege to serve it for so many years.
John had an unbelievable way with people. When he spoke, you listened. His distinctive laugh and infectious smile were one of a kind which drew you in and will never be matched. You could think you were the most worthless person in the world and, after speaking with him for about five minutes, you would be on top of the world. He was always able to come up with the perfect strategy to get you through any dilemma, legal or otherwise. His confident nature, beautiful voice, and unwavering positivity will be profoundly missed.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Bernard Prep School at 1600 St. Bernard Dr., SE, Cullman, AL 35055 or the charity of your choice.
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