Dale E. Dowden, 79, of Vincennes, passed away at 3:38 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, at his home.
He was born Sept. 17, 1941, in St. Joe to Everett and Leona (Kleist) Dowden.
He graduated from Hanover College in 1963 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a minor in physics and earned his master’s degree in chemistry from Purdue University in 1968. He went on to complete post-graduate work in curriculum and instruction at Indiana University. He began his teaching career at Lincoln High School in Cambridge City. After teaching chemistry, math and physics there, he moved his family to Vincennes in 1969 to begin what would be a lifelong career at Vincennes University. After serving as a professor of chemistry for six years, Dale moved into administration by accepting the position of dean of academic education. He went on to serve as dean of Curriculum and Faculty Development, Assistant Vice President of Curriculum and faculty development and provost and vice president for instructional services/dean of faculty, during which time he also served as acting president. Dale retired as provost and vice president for instructional services/dean of faculty in 2005. Also in 2005, ICN (Indiana College Network) and IHETS (Indiana Higher Education Telecommunication System) developed the Dale E. Dowden Award for Outstanding Student Services in Distance Education. The award recognizes student support staff who work tirelessly to provide the foundation on which student success, particularly in distance learning, often depends. This award honors Dale for his lifelong focus on being learner-centered. Over the span of his 36 year career, Dale served as a consultant in grant preparation with various institutions, including Indiana University at Kokomo and the Lawrenceville, Illinois, public school district. He served in several capacities over many years with the U.S. Department of Education, including field reader for the title III program, on several state and national boards including the institutional representative and founding member of the Indiana Partnership for Statewide Education, member of the community college advisory panel of the College Board and member of the American Chemical Society. A member of the Family Worship Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he was also an avid hunter, fisherman, golfer and wood worker.
Surviving are his wife, Sandy (Archer) Dowden, whom he married Dec. 28, 2010; his daughters, Angie Dowden and her companion, Ralph Oldham, of Normal, Illinois, Tricia Trent and her husband, Tyler, of Vincennes, and Erika Lewis and her husband, Greg, of Zionsville, Amy McNeece and her husband, Andrew, of Vincennes, and Adam Siewers of Vincennes; siblings, Doris Poling and Jerry Dowden; his grandchildren, Jason and Jeremy Trent, Kristen Phillips, Katie Pesch and her husband, David, Ellie, Alex Lewis, and Chloe McNeece; his great-grandchildren, Jaelyn, Livia and Mason Trent, Camden Osborne, Elaina and Ava Pesch, and baby Owen Tyler Pesch due in February 2021; along with the mother of his children, Jean Dowden.
He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Marvin Dowden, Shirley Riedel and Mary Birkmire; and a half-brother.
There will be a private memorial service. A celebration of Dale’s life will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Vincennes University Foundation for the Kathryn Louise Zimmerman Memorial Scholarship Fund.