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Mrs. Peggy Sue Fishe McDowell of Gastonia, North Carolina entered into eternal life on Friday December 9, 2016 at her home.  She was born May 20, 1937 to the late Quince Fishe and Ozelle Brown Fishe in Catawba County, North Carolina. 

She was a life long member of Brown’s Chapel United Methodist Church  and was very active in the life of the church.  Mrs. McDowell received her elementary and high school education at Catawba Rosenwald School, in Catawba, NC.  She graduated from Winston-Salem Teacher’s College (now Winston-Salem-State University) in 1959 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, where she sang soprano on the university choir. She began her first teaching position in Lincoln County as a first grade teacher at Newbold School in Lincoln County in 1960, and due to a need for a school in the West end of Lincoln County she was transferred to Mitchell School in Vale, North Carolina in 1965 were she served in the roles of first grade teacher, treasurer, secretary, and assistant principal. She earned a Master’s Degree in Mental Retardation with a minor in Sociology in 1969 from North Carolina Central University.  Mrs. McDowell began teaching in the Kings Mountain School System in 1969 as special education teacher, due to her passion for teaching she was named teacher of the year in 1977. She taught at Central School and North Elementary School, and taught in the area of special education for approximately 7 years before going into the mainstream classroom where she taught mostly in the second grade, until she retired in 1999.  Mrs. McDowell’s philosophy of education was, “Children learn to do by doing, if children are given a chance he or she will do what he or she is capable of doing.” She believed that every child was special, regardless of their academic achievement or ethnic background. She always tried to find good qualities in each child she came in contact with and she believed that children learned best if the classroom atmosphere was warm and informal.  Mrs. McDowell was a member of local, state, and national professional organizations.  As a minister’s wife, which she often stated was not her lifelong dream, she was very active in the life of the church having served as director of Christian education, member of the pastor-parish relations committee, administrative assistant to the pastor, director of vacation bible school, president of the United Methodist Women, chairperson of good literature of the church library and member of the chancel choir.  Mrs. McDowell well also very active in civic organizations.  She was a member of Brown’s Chapel #17 Order of the Eastern Star, The Gastonia Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and The Audacian Club. Mrs. McDowell took great pleasure in sewing, cooking, macramé, reading, traveling and helping others.  

In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband of 54 years Rev. Dr. Robert Howard McDowell, 1 sister Geraldine Fishe Tyson, 4 brothers Quince Fishe Jr, Raymond Fishe, Joe Fishe, and Donald Fishe.
She leaves to cherish loving memories her only daughter, Heather Taiasha McDowell of Charlotte, NC, and one brother James Kenneth Fishe of Catawba, NC, along with a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Funeral Arrangements 

Simpson and Gillespie United Methodist Church
3545 Beatties Ford Road
Charlotte, N.C.

Saturday, December 17, 2016 @ 1:00 P.M.

The family will receive friends at the church for one hour prior to funeral.
(12 Noon until 1:00 p.m.)

Gaston Memorial Park
South New Hope Road
Gastonia, N.C.

Peggy Sue McDowell
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  • Friday, December 09, 2016
    Our staff will continue to keep your family in our prayers. We thank you for allowing us to serve your family.
    ~ Costner Funeral Home
  • Thursday, December 15, 2016
    Family, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I taught with Peggy for 10 years in second grade at North School and knew her many, many years before that. Ann Scism
    ~ Ann Scism   Kings Mountain, NC
  • Friday, December 16, 2016
    Family please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.
    ~ James Flowers   Seattle, WA
  • Wednesday, December 21, 2016
    Heather and family members, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I have many fond memories of teaching with Peggy in Kings Mountain. From time to time I still "borrow " her expressions. Plenty of people have heard me say: "As Peggy McDowell would say ...". She touched many lives.
    ~ Carol Parker Dye   Rockingham, NC
  • Friday, December 23, 2016
    I taught with Peggy at North. So sorry for your loss, Heather. May God's peace be with you.
    ~ Connie Bell   Kings Mtn., NC
  • Friday, December 23, 2016
    I taught with Peggy at North. So sorry for your loss, Heather. May God's peace be with you.
    ~ Connie Bell   Kings Mtn., NC
  • Friday, December 30, 2016
    To the family, please know that Jehovah is close to the brokenhearted, Psalm 34:18. He promises in Revelation 21:3,4 that he will wipe away the tears from our eyes and pain and death will be no more.
    ~ Lisa L