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Obituary - John Dowler

John Dowler

1935 - 2020

Cook Southland Funeral Chapel - Dowler(2020)

William John Dowler passed away June 22, 2020, in a sudden bout of illness at the Medicine Hat Hospital. John was born September 11, 1935, in Palmerston,Ontario. As a young man in Ontario John began his career with a paper route and delivering groceries. Always a fan of Western life John decided to head West. Searching for sweeter pastures, which if he didn’t find he made. As a young man he prospered in Southern Alberta. In between playing hockey for the Bow Island Mercury's, the Northwest Nitros, the Medicine Hat Hot Shots, coaching minor league hockey and working his day job in irrigation; John met and married his soul mate, Maureen Knowles on September 5, 1959. Upon earning his Irrigation Technician designation, John’s career took him on many exciting adventures including life in Lethbridge, Kamloops, Oregon, Illinois and New Jersey. While in the United States, he still managed to keep his love of the ice active by coaching and playing hockey in Illinois and New Jersey. In New Jersey John changed careers joining the Vermeer company. With Vermeer, John followed behind one of the first Round Hay Balers in the fields of Iowa.

Returning to Medicine Hat in 1976, John and Maureen bought the Husky Gas & Oil franchise. From that business, he moved onto opening Triangle Equipment & Feeds – which he operated until his retirement. John truly enjoyed meeting past customers at farm and ranch events that he continued to attend in his retirement. Living in different locations gave him and his family the opportunity to discover and learn about the area’s history and make many new friends along the way.

John was passionate about Genealogy. The Dowler family tree he compiled is part of a massive genealogical family history, his research linked 16,795 people. John held executive positions in the Medicine Hat Genealogy Society and the Alberta Genealogy Society. John was heavily into Rock Hunting, he was a member of the Medicine Hat Rock & Lapidary club. John held executive positions in the Medicine Hat Rock Club, the Alberta Federation of Rockhounds and the Gem & Mineral Federation of Canada. John was an active member of the South Eastern Alberta Archaeology Society. Whether hiking or camping with the “Arky” or “Rock Club” or out with their Supper Club, John made many enduring friendships plus many “good times” with Jaycees of Canada & USA.

When John wasn't busy meeting with friends, he read. The house is full of books that he had read which he enjoyed sharing the stories and information. John also took a keen interest in his grandchildren’s activities. John is survived by his wife, Maureen; children, Brenda (Joe) Gilchrist, Kevin Dowler (Dauminique Napier), grandchildren, Jody Gilchrist (Shane McKay), Tyler Gilchrist (Kristy), Adam Gilchrist, Kristine Dowler and Dylan Dowler; one great-granddaughter, Taci Gilchrist; siblings, Russell of Coquitlam BC, Carl of Medicine Hat, Murray (Linda), Harold (Rose), Gerry (Anne), Clare (Betty), Dan, Ann (Terry) Murray all of Ontario; sister-in-law, Dawn Knowles; brother-in-law, Len Knowles of Medicine Hat as well as numerous nieces and nephews. John was predeceased by his parents, George and Emma (nee Speers) Dowler; In-laws, Maurice and Leona (nee Sharland) Knowles; brothers, Ken, George, Larry and Len; sister, Betty Rickett; brothers-in- law, Jack Knowles and Bill Rickett; sisters-in-law, Bonnie Knowles, Shirley, Audrey and Helen Dowler.Due to the current pandemic, a private graveside service was held on Saturday, June 27, 2020. A Life Celebration gathering will be held in the future when health restrictions are lifted.If friends so desire, memorial donations in John’s name may be made directly to the Ronald McDonald House, 569 - 4 Street S.W., Medicine Hat, Alberta T1A 4G2


  1. Ann Murray:
    Jun 24, 2020 at 08:27 AM

    With a very heavy heart My family and I send all are love and support at this time. John will always be remembered as my big brother. Even though I didn't see him as much as would of liked. The many miles between kept us apart.So please except my deepest condolence to you Maureen and your families.
    With Love Ann

  2. Betty Stewart:
    Jun 24, 2020 at 09:57 AM

    My sincere condolences for Maureen and her family. I didn't know John well but what I did know of him, he was a very kind and honorable man. He gave much of his time to causes important to him. He will be missed by a great many people who had the privilege of knowing him and witnessing his hard work and dedication.
    Betty - Medicine Hat Boxing Club.

  3. Historical Society of Medicine Hat and District:
    Jun 24, 2020 at 09:34 PM

    My sincere condolences go out to Maureen and family. It is my understanding that both John and Maureen were long time members of the local Historical Society of Medicine Hat and District.
    On behalf of the Executive, Board of Director and Members of the Society we extend our heartfelt condolences. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  4. Marian Walker:
    Jun 25, 2020 at 12:53 AM

    My condolences to Maureen and family. Love Marian from the rock club.

  5. Chris Howells:
    Jun 25, 2020 at 10:02 AM

    To the family of John Dowler my condolences on the passing of John on behalf of the Gas City Kiwanis Centre Society He was a valued member of the Rock club and the society He will be missed Chris Howells president

  6. Robert & Kathy Zeigenhagel:
    Jun 25, 2020 at 04:10 PM

    Maureen, Brenda and Family,

    So very sorry to hear that John passed away. We always enjoy talking to you and John. In fact I seemed to remember my dropping in for a minute at the store, usually turned into more like an hour and still didn't want to leave. With are our deepest sympathy.
    Robert and Kathy Ziegenhagel

  7. Mary Thompson Boksteyn:
    Jun 25, 2020 at 09:03 PM

    Dear Maureen.....Heartfelt condolences going out to you today!! HUGS!!
    Though I am stranded in my tiny Apt. in LaCruz, Mexico I try to read the News
    weekly. The little I knew of your darlin, John, left me feeling very respectful!
    If you need a heart to heart chat I will only be a phone call away.....after my arriving
    HOME and going thru quarantine. 😉 HUGS! MaryTB

  8. Norm and Sharon Koberinski:
    Jun 26, 2020 at 11:03 AM

    So sorry to hear of John's passing, Maureen our thoughts and prayers are with you and the family during this difficult time .

  9. Louise wutzke:
    Jun 26, 2020 at 12:34 PM

    My love and prayers to you Maureen and family. Have happy memories of our rock club group travels and party's at our homes. Hugs.louise

  10. Laurel:
    Jun 26, 2020 at 12:46 PM

    Sending our sincere sympathy to Maureen and family on the loss of John.
    Alan and I always appreciated John’s dry sense of humour and his vast knowledge.
    We first got to know John at Triangle Feeds then later with the Archaeology and Historical Societies.
    He will be remembered.

  11. Karen-Anne and John Cherwonogrodzky:
    Jun 27, 2020 at 12:34 PM

    Dear Maureen and Family:
    It was a shock, surprise and heavy heart to learn of the passing of John a few days ago. Part of the reason for the heavy heart was from knowing John, his great service to the community (such as his previous executive positions on the Medicine Hat Rock & Lapidary Club, Alberta Federation of Rock Clubs and his volunteer work on several other community clubs). In large part, these organizations did well because of him. John was also such a remarkable person. Whenever one had the chance to talk to him, there flowed from him a wealth of experiences, knowledge and humour. He will be greatly missed, but know that many of us will do better knowing him and following his lead on helping others.
    Karen-Anne and John

  12. Medicine Hat & District Genealogical Society:
    Jun 28, 2020 at 03:42 PM

    Very sorry to read that John passed away. John was our AGS Branch President twice in 1989-90, 1994, and filled other positions while a long time member. Our sympathies to his wife, Maureen, and family.

    Melvin Bender

  13. Charlie and Alma Berridge:
    Jun 29, 2020 at 03:04 PM

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to you Maureen and your families.
    He will be missed by many friends and acquaintances.
    Our love. Charlie & Alma.

  14. Pauline and Ed Zeschuk:
    Jun 30, 2020 at 02:41 PM

    Very Sorry to hear of John's passing! Our sincere condolences to Maureen and family. John will be missed at rock club events.

  15. Nancy Lehr:
    Jun 30, 2020 at 10:10 PM

    Maureen and family,
    My sincere condolences to you and your family on John’s passing. I always enjoyed visiting with you and John. I know how hard it is to lose your life mate, and you are in my thoughts. With love and empathy. NancyLehr

  16. Elaine Wiedemann:
    Jul 02, 2020 at 10:01 AM

    Dear Maureen and family,
    My condolences and sympathy on the passing of John--peace and blessings to you and your family. In friendship -Elaine

  17. admin:
    Jul 03, 2020 at 12:37 PM

    Our first experiences with John was through his business withTriangle Feeds. We did a lot of business throughout the years there and he was always honest and a pleasure to deal with.

    After his retirement my wife and I would see John and Maureen around town and enjoyed visiting with them.

    To Maureen and the Dowler family, please accept our condolonces.

    Harold & Lorie Pfeifer

  18. Marge Ensminger:
    Jul 04, 2020 at 05:09 PM

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. We are never certain what curves life will throw to each one of us. When you are ready, reach out to those whom you feel comfortable talking to aid the healing process. I encourage you to remember the good times you enjoyed.

  19. Linda Lamirade:
    Jul 07, 2020 at 09:53 AM

    Dear Maureen & family - my thoughts and prayers are with you all during this time of loss of your dear husband.

  20. Bob & June Thomson:
    Jul 08, 2020 at 09:25 AM

    Maureen, Brenda & family,
    Our sincere sympathies on the loss of your sole mate and father! John was a very personable man, easy to talk to, knowledgeable and helpful on a lot of agricultural issues. We always came away wiser and better informed after a visit to the store. We hope your wonderful memories will help carry you through this time of sadness. Bob & June Thomson

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