Doris Louise Dowdell, age 102, died on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26, 2020. She was born Aug. 15, 1918 seven miles east of Galt. She was a descendant, on her maternal side, of early day pioneers (1860) and on her paternal side (1906). Her parents were Athos Loll and Stella (Trimmer) Loll.
Louise attended a one-room school, Brown Elementary, one mile down the road. She walked to and from school, rain or shine, and graduated in 1932. The school was closed after that, and the schoolhouse was sold. It is now the Woodbridge Grange Hall, somewhat modified from the original.
Attending Galt High, she met Earl Dowdell and, after graduating together in 1937, proceeded to “elope” with him to Reno on July 23, 1937. He “aged considerably” on the bus trip and was “old enough”, no questions asked, so they could get a license. The marriage lasted until his death in 1995.
Louise was Galt’s first fair queen in 1935. She led the parade on a high-stepping horse, and in the “Queen’s” race on a little oval track, she nosed out the cowboys from outlying ranches. They weren’t happy to be beaten by a 17-year-old girl.
During World War II, Earl enlisted in the U.S. Navy, and Louise went to work at the Greyhound Lines. Buses were very busy due to private cars being severely rationed on gas. When the war ended, they resettled in Galt. Since no children were forthcoming, she worked at various local jobs. For two year (1949-51), she was cafeteria cook at Galt High; with no assistant, it was her toughest job. She began working as clerk at Galt Post Office in 1952 and retired in 1978.
Since they had no children, they became quite involved with her brother’s three oldest daughters, Rita (Loll) Nottoli, Jewel (Loll) Schimke and Cinda (Loll) Hausauer.
Louise was a member of the Ladies’ Auxiliary, VFW, Native Daughters of the Golden West, Liberty Parlor #213 in Elk Grove and was a charter member of the Galt Area Historical Society.
In 1957, Louise accepted Christ as her personal Savior and became a member of Galt Bible Church where she became an active member, teaching girls’ Sunday school, singing in the choir, serving as president of the Women’s Missionaries Fellowship, and leading women’s Bible studies. She also had a bright smile and happy outlook on life, telling people she looked forward to being with Jesus and all her brothers and sisters in Christ who had gone before.
Surviving Louise are nieces Rita Nottoli of Galt, Jewel Schimke of Santa Clara, Cinda Hausauer of Galt, Lynell Thompson of Idaho, Lori Bryant of Acampo; nephews Lee Borman and Walter Dowdell of Sacramento, and many grandnieces and nephews.
Preceding her in death were her husband Earl, parents Athos and Stella Loll, brother Carl Loll, nephew Nathan Loll and grandniece Kathryn Loll.
Memorial donations may be made to Galt Bible Church, 801 Church Street, Galt, CA 95632; or Galt Area Historical Society, P.O. Box 782, Galt, CA 95632.
Her spirit left a footprint across many decades and she will be greatly missed.