Barrett Greenland Dowell, 81, of Warrenton, passed away on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, at the Brookside Rehab & Nursing Center.
Mrs. Dowell, who rarely used her given first name of Elizabeth, was born Nov. 22, 1935, in Alexandria to Milton Russell and Viola Barrett Greenland.
With deep roots in Virginia, Barrett’s her went back for generations. Notable among her forebears was her great-grandmother Dr. Kate Waller Barrett (1857-1925) and her grandfather Dr. Robert South Barrett (1877-1959).
After earning an associate degree in medical technology from Stratford College, she entered an internship at George Washington University Hospital. On December 19, 1956, she married Harry Thomas Dowell Jr. and following the completion of Lt. Dowell’s Army service, they returned to Warrenton in 1959, and made their home here.
Active in her community, Mrs. Dowell was soon elected president of the Fauquier Branch of the Virginia Federation of Women’s Clubs and later served as an assistant at the White House Conference on Mental Retardation. From 1966-1971, She was an assistant librarian at the Fauquier Public Library, where she organized the Virginiana Room and conducted research. Mrs. Dowell wrote a paperback book regarding the history of the library itself, as well as numerous articles for the Fauquier Times-Democrat. Later in life, she wrote and published the civil war novel “Searching For General Lee.” Mrs. Dowell was an active member of the Williamsburg Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and St. James Episcopal Church in Warrenton, Va.
Given her family background, it comes as no surprise that Mrs. Dowell spent her adult lifetime working with children, and later helping the disadvantage. In 1983, she began a 20-year educational career at Highland School in Warrenton, where she was the extended (after school care) activities executive director. After completing her career at Highland, she remained active as a volunteer in early childhood education, working with the Virginia Preschool Initiative founded by former Gov. George Allen in 1995, and with the local Head Start program, beginning in 2000. She remained active with Head Start and Bright Starts, an affiliate program helping disadvantaged children, until her health began to decline more than two years ago.
Survivors include her husband of 60 years, “Tommy” Dowell of Warrenton; a sister, Bruce Greenland Rodenberg; a brother, Robert Tupper Greenland, and many beloved nieces and nephews.
Mr. Dowell would like to thank the staff at the Brookside Rehab and Nursing Center in Warrenton for their excellent care of Mrs. Dowell during this difficult time.
The funeral will take place at noon Wednesday, March 8, at St. James’ Episcopal Church in Warrenton. Interment will follow at the Aquia Episcopal Church Cemetery in Stafford.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. James Episcopal Church in Warrenton, or to a charity of your choice.