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Boyd Max Dowell passed away at home on December 13, 2011. He was born July 31, 1934 in Shouns, Tennessee to George Harrison Dowell and Verda Stewart Dowell – the last of their four children. The tragedy of his mother's death five months after his birth meant that Max's Aunt Mary Stewart McEwen and her husband Sam McEwen aka Poppy “reared” him in the new town of Butler, about 10 miles from where his dad resided. The McEwens had a strong penchant for education, and under their roof, Max began a distinguished career as a scholar. It always impressed his children greatly that he skipped the second grade! By the time he got to Johnson County High School, he was on his way to becoming senior class president and valedictorian. He also led his senior class in raising enough money to send several members on a trip to Washington, D.C.
As a youngster, Max had attended the Children's Bible Mission camp in the mountains of Tennessee. After his high school graduation, at age 16, a CBM representative persuaded Max to apply to, and subsequently attend, Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC. Bob Jones was profoundly influential for this young man from the Tennessee mountains.
Deeply committed to his Christian faith, Max pursued his graduate studies at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. This was one of the most important periods in his life, for this is where he met a young secretary working in the U.T College of Education. Mutual friends brought them together knowing that they shared a deep love for the Lord. He and Shirley Stanfill were married on December 30, 1958. After only ten months their first child, Teresa Marie came along while they were living in Columbus, Ohio and Max was teaching at Roosevelt Junior High School.
By 1961, Max had his first job as a university professor at Cedarville College in Cedarville, Ohio, teaching psychology while he completed his doctorate in the summers at UT. Timothy Max was born in 1963, completing the Dowell family. The foursome remained in Cedarville until 1967 when Max took a position with Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. This move allowed both Max and Shirley to be closer to their families and to the mountains.
For 32 years Dr. Dowell taught in the psychology department at Appalachian State University, but this, perhaps, was not his proudest achievement. He, and his beloved wife, Shirley, were also founding and charter members of the Alliance Bible Fellowship which opened its doors in the old Boone Bus Depot in 1979 and is now located on the Highway 105 Bypass.
Dr. Dowell is survived by his wife, Shirley Stanfill Dowell of the home; one daughter, Teresa Dowell-Dennis and husband Warren Cameron Dennis, III of Winston-Salem; one son, Timothy Max Dowell and wife Elizabeth Martin Dowell of Boone; two granddaughters, Sallie Dowell, and Carey Dowell, both of Boone; three grandsons, Ian Dennis and Max Dennis, both of Winston-Salem, and Owen Dowell of Boone, and one sister, Peggy Hayes and husband Swan of Lenoir. He is also survived by a number of nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one sister, Louvene Walton, and one brother, Myrlan Dowell.
A celebration of the life of Dr. Boyd “Max” Dowell were conducted Thursday afternoon, December 15, 2011, at 2:00 o'clock, at Alliance Bible Fellowship. The body lay in state, at the church, from 1:00 until 2:00 o'clock. Officiating were the pastors of Alliance Bible Fellowship. Entombment followed in the Mount Lawn Memorial Park and Gardens Mausoleum.
The family received friends Wednesday evening, from 6:00 until 8:00 o'clock, at Hampton Funeral Service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Alliance Bible Fellowship Growing For God's Glory Fund, 1035 North Carolina Highway 105 Bypass, Boone, North Carolina, 28607.
Online condolences may be sent to the Dowell family at
Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service is in charge of the arrangements.