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David's Story

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David W. Stowell, born David Wallace Burt, went peacefully to meet his God and loved ones on February 16, 2018.
Born on March 12, 1940 in rural Morganton, N.C., he had many fond memories of growing up on a farm, especially of his cousin Andrea. His Grandma Austin had three rules: don't cut across the bullpen, don't go into the stall with the plow mules, and don't go near the large boiling pot full of laundry and lye.
One of David's favorite sayings in describing himself was, "I'm an up-the-downstairs-staircase kind of guy." He always had to try what others cautioned him against. He did go into the bullpen and had to be rescued by an uncle carrying a pitchfork to keep them safe.
His mother remarried Samuel Stowell and the three of them moved to Rutland, Vermont where he graduated from Rutland High School in 1958. He received a four year scholarship as a Naval Mid-Shipman at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. While singing in college choir, he met and later married Barbara Barnett. His one and only child, Steva Stowell-Hardcastle, was born in California while he was stationed as Second Lieutenant United States Marine Corps. at Camp Pendleton. He was later shipped to Okinawa. In total, he served four years active duty and four more years in the reserve. His love, pride and devotion to the Marine Corps stayed with him throughout his life. He was a lifetime member of the Marine Corps League. In later years, he was the chaplain for the Morganton Table Rock League Marine Corps League, where he helped found and fund a financial needs scholarship by selling his little sailboat. David routinely wore his red Marine Corps windbreaker and cap, and had Marine Corps stickers on his truck and later his scooter. He completed a bucket list wish by visiting the Marine Corps Museum near Quantico in the spring of 2016 with his daughter.
He was employed most of his professional life by various Bell Telephone companies, installing communication systems for business clients. This work took him far and wide, from Colorado Springs, Colorado to Springfield, Mass. He retired from Lucent Technologies in 1996.
After divorce he tried to be a part of his daughter's life. It wasn't easy. It was in October, 1982 he decided to confront his biggest roadblock to happiness: alcoholism. He was what is known in Alcoholics Anonymous as a "first nighter." Against the odds, from his first AA meeting, he never took another drink. He followed the Big Book and 12 Steps, went to meetings every week, and connected himself to the local Episcopal parish wherever he lived up until his death, David was proud to have served on six different church vestries. His final church was Trinity by the Cove, Naples. He truly fought his way up the downstairs staircase.
Retirement brought him to Naples, Fla., where his mother and stepfather had retired years earlier. It was also the home of his sweetheart and caregiver, Cheryl. He was very happy in Naples. He found a big, supportive AA family and church community which kept him very active. Their devotion to him, even through his last days, was more than a family could ask for. Their love and kindness will not be forgotten.
He was predeceased by his mother, Tula Stowell, his father, Bill Burt, his stepfather, Samuel Stowell and stepbrother, Sammy Stowell.
He is survived by his daughter, Steva Stowell-Hardcastle, and his brothers and sisters, John, Benjamin, Elizabeth and Aynne. He leaves behind his most precious cousin Andrea Bennett and his sweetheart Cheryl.
A memorial service will be held at Trinity by the Cove on Thursday, February 22, 2018 at 3 p.m. with a reception to follow.
A graveside service will be held in Morganton later in the Spring.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to Trinity by the Cove Episcopal Church, 553 Galleon Drive, Naples, FL 34102, or Marine Corp League, Table Rock Detachment 1197, P.O. Box 576, Morganton, NC 28680, or Alcoholics Anonymous District 20, P.O. 2896, Naples, FL. 34106.
Published on February 19, 2018
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