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OBU Professor Tom Dowdy Dies

March 15, 2006

Dr. Thomas E. Dowdy, Oklahoma Baptist University professor of sociology, died Sunday, March 12, following a lengthy battle with brain cancer. He was 50.

Family visitation is scheduled for 6-9 p.m. on Wednesday, March 15, at Primrose Funeral Home, 1109 North Porter Avenue in Norman. OBU students, alumni, faculty and staff are invited to an on-campus memorial service at 10 a.m. Monday, March 20, in Raley Chapel's Potter Auditorium.

Dowdy joined the OBU faculty in 1987. The Bay City, Texas, native received his bachelor's degree from East Texas Baptist College and his master's degree from Texas A&M University. He earned his Ph.D. degree at the University of Massachusetts.

Dowdy was a member of the Society for Scientific Study of Religion, Association for Study of Religion and Religious Research Association.

Dowdy was a popular member of the OBU faculty. In a 1999 guest column in the university's student newspaper, The Bison, OBU alumnus Jon Vandiver offered Dowdy thanks for the professor's example of compassion.

"Having had some time for introspection, I felt that I needed to say 'thank you' to Dr. Dowdy for his influence on me as a student, a man and a Christian," said the 1990 OBU graduate.

Vandiver credited Dowdy with helping him as he pursued a career of working with disabled people.

"Thanks greatly to Dr. Dowdy making me think and consider not only myself but society, I have a heart for people with such needs," said Vandiver.

Dowdy is survived by his wife, Beverly.