Darrell K. Dowden

Darrell K. Dowden, 88, of Fairchild passed away Sunday, March 7, 2021, at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.  He was born in Mondovi, Wisconsin September 16, 1932, the son of Della (Heinsohn) and Fred Dowden.
Darrell married June Riley September 7, 1954, in Mondovi.  He served his country in the United States Navy during the Korean War from August 15, 1950, and honorably discharged September 15, 1953.  Darrell graduated from Mondovi High School in 1950.  He played on the football team catching passes with his teammates including Tanner, Davis, Brougham, Bielefeldt, Erickson, Wright, Winter, Koenig, and R. Peterson to name a few.
Thanks to his military service (Navy during the Korean War), he attended the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, (then Teacher’s College) on the GI Bill,  graduating with honors.
Darrell taught at both Cameron and Chetek High Schools. Darrell earned a Bachelor degree in Chemistry and Physics from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. He then earned his Masters in Science Education and Chemistry with a minor in Meteorology at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Darrell taught Chemistry at Garden City Community College in Garden City, Kansas for two years. He then moved to Eagles Nest Lake #3 and taught Chemistry and Meteorology at Vermilion Community College in Ely, MN from 1967 to 1987. Darrell started several weather stations.
Darrell was a great teacher and was awarded “Teacher of the Year” twice at Vermilion. During the time in Minnesota, Darrell continued his outdoor activities of hunting and fishing with his friends and family.  Darrell also tanned hides and excelled at taxidermy.  He authored a book on Chemical Tanning of Furs and hides entitled, “Darrell’s Book of Tanning” which became a textbook for an elective course he later taught in Ely.
After retirement from teaching, Darrell and June moved back “home” to Osseo putting them closer to both of their families in and around the Eau Claire/Mondovi area.
The place in Osseo, he referred to as “Maple Ridge” is a beautiful wooded area where he spent most of his remaining years fishing, hunting, gardening, was a skilled trapper, made fur hats and tapping maple syrup each spring. Darrell and June both enjoyed this rural life and hosted their kids and grandkids frequently.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, June of Fairchild, Wisconsin, his three daughters: Julie (Tim) Johnson of Northfield, MN, Helene (Dave) Johnson of Ely, MN, Barb (John) Mann of Hugo, MN, and son Dean (Tammie) Dowden of Tower, MN. Five grandchildren: Luke Johnson of Blaine, MN, Ryan Mann of White Bear Lake, MN, Alyssa Soukup of Stillwater, MN, April Toro of Bradenton, Florida and Darrell Dowden of Superior, WI and five great-grandchildren, 7 step grandchildren, 15 step great grandchildren and many friends and students.  He is preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Lee and Russell Dowden, sisters June Myers and Betty King.
Funeral Services were held at 11:00 A.M. Thursday, March 11, 2021, at the funeral home with Chaplain Gary Preston officiating.  Military Honors by the Mondovi American Legion Post #154 following the service.  Interment took place privately at Mound Cemetery in Downing, Wisconsin.
The Kjentvet-Smith Funeral Home has been entrusted with the final arrangements.


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