June 27, 1920 - April 30, 2019


Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, May 6, 2019 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in St. Cloud for Mary Elizabeth “Betty” McDowall, age 98 of St. Cloud who passed away Tuesday, April 30, 2019. Rev. Thomas Knoblach will officiate and entombment will be at Assumption Cemetery Mausoleum in St. Cloud. Visitation will be from 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. on Monday at the church in St. Cloud. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Home, St. Cloud.

Betty was born in St. Paul, MN on June 27, 1920 to Patrick and Grace (Corwin) Leonard. She grew up in Wheaton, MN where she attended school and graduated with honors from Wheaton High School Class of 1938. From high school it was on to Winona, MN to attend the College of St. Theresa, graduating in 1942 with degrees in both English and Social Work. After college Betty taught high school for one year in Campbell, MN. Then to Wheaton and employment with the Traverse County Welfare Office. In 1947 she decided to further her education and moved to Minneapolis to pursue graduate studies in child welfare at the University of Minnesota. For the next three years Betty was employed by the Stearns County Welfare Office in St. Cloud.

Betty married George J. McDowall on February 28, 1951 in Becker, MN at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. The couple made their home in St. Cloud and raised seven sons and one daughter. George and Betty also spent 20 years escaping the winters in Sarasota, FL returning home full time in 2003.

Betty was a member of AAUW, Catholic study groups, Crosier Apostolate, and a Campfire leader. Betty with George enjoyed traveling, especially to the British Isles furthering the study of their combined genealogy. She also liked furniture refinishing, home decoration, knitting, baking, flowers and birds.

Betty was a loving, dedicated and outstanding mother, wife, grandmother and great-grandmother. She will be fondly remembered and deeply missed.

She is survived by her children, Patrick of St. Cloud, John (Cherie) of St. Cloud, David (Katherine) of Shoreview, Peter of St. Cloud, Lawrence (Susan) of St. Cloud, Mary (Kevin Patty) of Arden Hills; daughter-in-law, Maureen McDowall of Minneapolis; 9 grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren.

Betty was preceded in death by her husband George (December 15, 2007); her oldest son, Steven (February 27, 2007); her youngest son, Paul (June 5, 2013) and her only sibling, Robert J. Leonard (December 22, 2015).

Memorials are preferred to the College of St. Benedict’s Mary Elizabeth McDowall Scholarship Fund.