Lorna Eileen Woleslagle McDowell (Eileen) was born on July 18, 1937, as one of five daughters to Roy and Helen Woleslagle of Ligonier, Pa. She passed from this life on October 17, 2021, succumbing to the COVID virus. She attended Ligonier Valley High School graduating in 1955 and then married Clarence McDowell of RD# 1 Ligonier on September 17, of that same year. They were married for 66 years and are the proud parents of four daughters, one son, twelve grandchildren, and 8 great grandchildren.
Eileen was a devoted wife and homemaker while her husband pursued his work in industrial management. When he left that career to pursue a ministry in preaching, Eileen blossomed as a preacher's wife and co-laborer while they planted churches in Franklin and Kittanning, Pennsylvania. The McDowell's continued their service to congregations of churches of Christ in Berkeley Springs, WV; Baldwyn, MS; and Uniontown, PA. At the time of her death, Eileen and her husband were members of the Oliver Creek church of Christ in Arlington, TN.
Concurrently with her ministry, Eileen worked in nursing homes as a nurse's aid and then as an Activities Director to help her five children receive a college education. All of them attended Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, TN, and all of them attained at least a bachelor's degree. She was particularly proud of their achievements and the fact that they all married godly spouses and raised exceptional families.
She is survived by Clarence, her husband of 66 years; 3 sisters-Ruth Ann McCracken (Lamont-d), Phylis Huske (Verne), and Linda Norrie (Ken); 5 children-Ramona Patterson (Lynn), Kim Fussell (Keith), Margaret Reeves (Terry), Scott McDowell (Kay), and Jenny Lovell (Jake); 12 grandchildren-Chris Patterson (Carrie), Rebecca Bush (Sam), Will Patterson (Brittney), Josh Fussell (Amy), Joanna Fussell, Joel Fussell, Nathan Reeves (Karen), Alec McDowell, Cade McDowell, Cole McDowell, Noah Lovell, and Hope Lovell; 8 great-grandchildren-Watson Patterson, Lila Patterson, Will Bush, Mallory Bush, Violet Patterson, Adalyn Fussell, Karsyn Reeves, and Tristan Reeves; and a multitude of nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents-Roy and Helen Woleslagle; and her sister-Nancy Seabol (Francis-d).
Eileen had a deep love for people and a wide array of interests-chief among them were family, friends, and church activities. As a young mother, she was the “neighborhood mom” and not only nurtured a broad group of her children's friends, but often joined in their hijinks.
Eileen was incredibly gifted at hospitality. As she matured, she understood that her home was a particularly powerful tool for building community, and she entertained frequently and in great numbers-always creating a welcoming environment. She hosted countless guests ranging from missionaries to college professors and made sure that everyone felt included.
This multi-talented woman was a skilled artist, enthusiastic traveler, and avid hunter. She enjoyed deer hunting in Maine, Colorado, and of course - Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. She also enjoyed pheasant hunting, often traveling to Missouri with her husband to hunt pheasants with Cam, the Brittany Spaniel she had trained. Prior to the passing of her parents - who had left Ligonier and moved to Oregon - along with Eileen's sisters, she made several trips across the country with her children and husband to visit them. Not surprisingly, that enabled her to experience salmon fishing in the Pacific, a sport that she not only loved, but excelled in.
Undoubtedly, her greatest passion and achievement were for her Lord and her family, and she was most proud of the influence that lives on in her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. The passing of this wonderful servant of Christ has left a void among his followers.
A celebration of her life will occur in Ligonier, Pennsylvania with visitation and viewing slated for Saturday, October 23 from 4-6:00 PM at the McCabe Funeral Home, 144 East Main Street, Ligonier and a funeral service to be held on Sunday October 24 at 1:30 PM at the Church of Christ on the corner of Walnut and Bunger Streets in Ligonier. Her son, Scott McDowell, will officiate. Interment will follow at the Fort Palmer Cemetery immediately following the service.
Online condolences may be made to www.mccabefuneralhomespa.com.
To send flowers to Lorna's family, please visit our floral store.