Donald Alvin Dowd


Donald Alvin Dowd passed away surrounded by his lifelong partner and caregiver on February 18, 2024. Don was born on September 30, 1945, to loving parents, Frances and Charles Dowd, in Miami, Florida. Don is preceded in death by his father, Charles A. Dowd, Jr. and his mother Frances Smith Dowd and his brother Douglas Dowd.
Don is survived by his lifelong partner and caregiver Nathan Basford of Dellwood Florida; his sister-in¬-law, Donna Crawford Dowd of Seneca South Carolina; his niece, Dawn Payne of Westminster, South Carolina; his grand nieces, Taylor and Sydney Payne; his nephew, David Dowd and wife Kandy, other relatives, as well as many loving and caring friends.
His early years were spent in Miami Springs, except for brief times in Havana, Cuba and Columbia, South Carolina associated with his father’s government employment. In 1957, Don’s family relocated to Midland, Texas where Don remained until his high school graduation from Robert E. Lee High School in 1963. He loved casually slipping in, that one of his classmates was Laura Welch, who later became Laura Bush, the 43rd First Lady of the United States.
Don initially enrolled at Texas Lutheran College, but soon transferred to the University of Miami. While back in Miami, Don enjoyed visiting his grandmother in the nursing home, and even taking her on jaunts around the city in his sports car. Don graduated with a B.S. in Psychology in the spring of 1967.
After his graduation, Don joined the relatively newly formed Peace Corps where he loved living out the mission “to provide social and technical assistance, while promoting mutual understanding between Americans and populations served”.
Don was posted in Brazil for two years where he lived in a monastery. He enjoyed teaching children English and working with the monastery to maximize cost efficiency in ordering their food supplies. His posting in South America allowed Don to travel the countryside and even experience a great adventure down the Amazon River. In 2016, long after Don’s posting had ended, he was able to return once more to visit his long-time friend, Max, and his family. Even after all those years, Don was able to carry on conversations in Portuguese, the native language of Brazil.
Don concluded his time with the Peace Corps in 1969 and returned to the U.S. where he entered government service with the Florida Department of Labor first in Jacksonville, Florida and later moved to Tallahassee. He would remain there throughout his career until his retirement in 2002.
Don was very involved in his church, Saint Stephen Lutheran Church in Tallahassee, Florida. Over the years, he served as church council President twice, as a member on the Altar Guild, and just enjoyed taking care of the church.
Don loved to travel with his friends and family, something he had done with his family in his formative years. One of his earliest adventures was in 1973, when Don, along with his parents, journeyed from the Panama Canal to Austin, Texas via Mexico. A later journey would be a motor home adventure to Alaska. Their final adventure was when Don hosted his parents for travel to New Zealand and Hawaii. Before his retirement, Don enjoyed a trip abroad to England. After his retirement, he was able to travel to Mexico with Nathan and their friends Cathy and Scott.
Don and Nathan shared 44 years together, taking trips, camping and going to the beach and enjoying happy times with each other’s families. Their bond was exemplified when Nathan became Don’s primary caregiver after his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia in July of 2017.
Don’s caring personality was especially on display with his four-legged furry friends. One of his last was a little chihuahua named Pebbles, whom Don had taken into his life when a neighbor was unable to take her when he moved. After Pebbles’ passing, Don’s final furry friend was a gift from the Alzheimer’s Project when he started attending respite care. Sassy is a golden-colored animatronic kitty that would purr, meow, and even move realistically while Don cuddled her.
Don has always been a kind and gentle soul. His mother once said to Nathan, “you know, Don has always marched to a different drummer”, Nathan replied, “yes he has, and it’s been great watching him march”.
A memorial service will be held in Tallahassee Florida at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 2198 N. Meridian Rd. 32303 on Saturday, March 9, 2024, at 11:00 AM Eastern Time.
A memorial service will be held locally, at Dellwood Baptist Church, Saturday, March 16, 2024, beginning at 2:00 PM Central Time, where the past four years Don and Nathan have attended and have received much love and support. Dellwood Baptist Church is located at 6512 Blue Springs Road, Greenwood, Fl. Located in the Dellwood Community.
Much love and thanks go out to the caregivers, Covenant Care Hospice, and Alzheimer’s Project for the love and support received.
Flowers are welcomed and appreciated by the family or in lieu of flowers you may send a contribution in memory of Don, to the Alzheimer’s Project of Tallahassee at or Covenant Care Hospice online at Donate ( or by mail (checks may be made payable to Covenant Care and mailed to 4540 Lafayette St Ste G, Marianna, FL 32446)
Both organizations were near and dear to Don’s heart.
Expressions of sympathy may be made online at:


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