DOWLEN, GEORGE EULACE (1934 ~ 2014). The following is an obituary for George Dowlen, former state district judge. The obituary was provided by The Island Funeral Home and Crematory of Hilton Head South Carolina.
George Eulace Dowlen, 79, of Amarillo, TX, passed away peacefully on May 1, 2014 in Hilton Head Island, SC. Dowlen, the son of Glenn and Cortez Dowlen, was born June 12, 1934, on the family farm in Randall County, south of Canyon, Texas.
He attended school in Canyon and graduated from Canyon High School in 1952. Dowlen attended West Texas State University and the University of Texas School of Law. After law school, Dowlen worked as Assistant City Attorney for Amarillo from 1961 to 1962, and maintained a private law practice in Canyon from 1962 to 1964. Dowlen retired from the United States Army Reserve as a Captain in 1965. From 1964 to 1975, he served as Criminal District Attorney for Randall County and was elected Judge of the 181st District for both Potter and Randall Counties. After serving twelve years as judge, 1975 - 1987, Dowlen joined the Amarillo law firm of Perdue, Brandon, Fielder, Collins, and Mott. He also served as a Member of the Texas Adult Probation Commission from 1985 - 1989.
Dowlen became a member of the Happy Masonic Lodge in Happy, TX in 1955, and was initiated into the Shrine and Scottish Rite in 1962, where he was also a member of the Royal Order of Jesters. In addition, Dowlen was very active in the Texas Democratic Party. He served as a Texas State Democratic Executive Committee member for several years and as a delegate to the 1992 Democratic National Convention held in New York City, NY. On November 26, 1987, Judge Dowlen married his wife, Dee Ann. Since his retirement in 2005, Dowlen and his wife have resided in Hilton Head Island, SC.
As a judge, Dowlen was well respected and known to be fair, knowledgeable, and proficient. During Dowlen's tenure on the bench he gained statewide and national attention when he presided over the five month long, high-profile capital murder trial of Fort Worth millionaire T. Cullen Davis in 1977. During the Davis trial, Dowlen was called "the cowboy judge with the Boston brain" by the media. In his usual modest and humorous way, he declared this moniker a slander on Bostonians. His endearing slow Texas drawl made those appearing before him instantly feel comfortable despite his intellectual prowess. In addition, Dowlen presided over the high-profile drug possession case of former Pittsburgh Steeler Ernie Holmes.
Dowlen was known to his friends and family as George. George was universally loved and respected by friends and family. To know George was to admire him. Both in his professional career and in his personal life, he possessed kindness, patience, thoughtfulness and a smart, yet always appropriate, sense of humor. He had a knack for telling the most interesting stories, loved cheering for the Longhorns, playing tennis with his friends, and he cherished his adoring family. Perhaps George's greatest quality was the way he adhered to the Golden Rule. George did not say negative things to or about people. George did not ridicule others or treat them poorly and he was always a gentleman. George was always willing to help a person or animal in need. To his close friends and family, the sun shines a little less brightly without George. George was an outstanding man.
Dowlen is survived by his wife Dee Ann, stepson Trey Bunch, daughter-in law Marcie Bunch, three granddaughters Madeline, Margaret and Marlo Bunch, sister Marie Dowlen Manley, nieces Jill Cook and her husband Bruce, Diana Lee and her husband Jim, Becky Noble and her husband Robert, Alice Nutter and her husband Scott, nephews David Manley and his wife Joan, Jeff Manley and his wife Christy, Todd Manley and his wife Lyn and several great nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and his older brother Glenn Wade Dowlen, Jr.
Services will be held at St. Andrew by the Sea United Methodist Church, 20 Pope Ave., Hilton Head Island, SC 29928 on May 19, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. Dowlen's cremated remains will be interred at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin, TX on June 2. Memorials may be sent to Hilton Head Humane Association, PO Box 21790, Hilton Head Island, SC 29925.