Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

Bessie Dowdy


October 12, 2017

Bessie Dowdy, 93, passed away October 3, 2017, at Worland Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center.

Bessie Narcissa was born to Vern and Grace (Peckham) Hagans on May 10, 1924, in Lander, Wyo. In 1938, the family moved to Fort Lupton, Colo., where she graduated high school in May of 1942.

Bessie married Nathan Brown and moved to Grass Creek, Wyo. Two children, Ron and Shirley, were born to this union. The couple later divorced.

Bessie moved to Colorado and reestablished a childhood friendship with William Lee Dowdy. They were married March 23, 1948, in Fairplay, Colo. Four sons, Lanny, Rod, Fred and Russ, were born to this union. The Dowdy family ran a dairy farm in Hudson, Colo., for a number of years. The family moved back to Wyoming in 1968, purchasing a farm at Lucerne.

Bessie drove school bus for many years for Hot Springs County School District #1 and helped manage the farm in Lucerne. Bill and Bess eventually gave up the farm and moved to town in the early 80s. Bessie enjoyed her family, reading, baking and listening to Bobcat and Bronco football.

She is survived by brother, Eugene Hagans of Fort Lupton, Colo .; sons, Fred (Cheryl) Dowdy of Greeley, Colo .; Russ (Carol) Dowdy of Thermopolis; Ron (Carla) Brown of Grass Creek; daughter, Shirley (Bill) Spuhl of Meeteetse; 10 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren and 2 great great-grandchildren.

Bessie was preceded in death by husband, William; parents; brother, Elwin; sons, Lanny and Rod; and grandson, Travis.

Graveside services were held October 7 at Monument Hill Cemetery with Pastor Nathan Winters officiating. Memorial donations may be made to Meals on Wheels in care of the Thermopolis Senior Center c/o P.O. Box 747, Thermopolis, WY 82443. Online condolences may be made at


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