William Franklin Dowdle

November 5, 1945 ~ March 6, 2021 (age 75)


William Franklin Dowdle, age 75, passed away on March 6, 2021. He was born November 5, 1945, the son of the late Rufus Franklin Dowdle of Franklin, NC and the late Etta Louise Neely of Highlands, NC. He was also preceded in death by two sisters, Margaret Dowdle and Mary Ann Smith. He is survived by niece, Donna Nix (Morris) and a nephew Robert Ladner Jr (Teresa). 


He was a graduate of John Ringling College of Art in Sarasota, FL, where he received a Bachelors in Commercial Art.  He worked as Art Director for Manatee County Planning Department in Florida and designed the county seal. He also held positions of Art Director for the Tampa Bay Tribune and the St. Petersburg Times.  He also created drawings for the space shuttle program when he worked at Honeywell in Virginia.  He loved Highlands, NC and had submitted paintings in the local galleries. He enjoyed painting the area landscapes because of their beauty of God’s creation. He was instrumental in getting “The Russell House” in Oconee County recognized into Historical Sites status. He was a Christian and loved the Lord.


He had been a member of Pineville Presbyterian Church in Pass Christian, Mississippi but he was baptized at Elizabeth Missionary Baptist Church in Arcadia, Florida on March 23, 1980. 


The service will be held at a later date. 


Beck Funeral Home, in Clayton, Georgia, is in charge of the arrangements. If there are any questions, please call 706-782-9599. An online Memorial Register Book is available at

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