MCPO Rich Dowdy, 1934 – 2010

Master Chief Petty Officer, Gas Turbine System Technician

It is with heavy heart that I say farewell to Master Chief Petty Officer Rich Dowdy. He passed Thursday, September 2, 2010 at the U.S. Naval Hospital at Balboa.

I married into the family thirteen years ago. The first time I met Rich Dowdy, he gave me the hairy eyeball. Somehow I passed muster, even if I was an old Army soldier. In time, I was accepted into the family.

Rich was a helluva fishing buddy. We could fish all day and not say a word. He and I agreed on most of the important things in life except the Army-Navy game (which we simply didn’t mention).

Below is a picture of Rich and me on the USS Midway and one of the very few pictures in which he is smiling. I know the ladders were hell on his knees that day but he wouldn’t let anyone know it. He was like that. Down in the engine room, Rich’s eyes simply lit up. Being something of a gearhead myself, I could have stayed all day while the Master Chief gave me a personal tour. This was sacred ground, the heart and soul of a great ship.

Rich Dowdy was a sailor who held firmly the line, a family man who did more than most, and a friend who shall evermore be missed. I’ll see you again on the far shore, Rich.

Fair winds and following seas.

Master Chief Petty Officer Rich Dowdy on the USS Midway


  1. that was a nice tribute to Dad I am sure he is very pleased. he was unique in his way, I will miss him also.

    Laurie Dowdy


  2. Beautifully written Kelly. I hope you area available to eulogize me one day (not too soon, though!)

    Greg Blaine


  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Tracy’s Step Dad. It is always lovely to hear more about our friend’s loved ones we never get to meet.

    Connie Ahern


  4. Hi Kelly,

    You really captured the essense of our Dad. I can almost see him giving you the once-over with that hairy eyeball now. But most especially you recall to me the few days I went fishing with him, no words were necessary, but the silence spoke volumes about a man comfortable in himself and so a comfort to be with. I miss him terribly, but these memories are priceless. Thank you for sharing.

    Darlene Dowdy


  5. Even though Pop (this is what I always called him) wasn’t blood, he was my Father. I know of no other tribute I can give him. Thanks for writing the words I can not say…

    Tracy Schwenson


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