Richard S. Dowdy, Jr., 84, beloved husband of Grace Mebane Dowdy, of Hamden, passed away on May 25, 2010 surrounded by his family. He was born in Pittsburgh, PA on September 10, 1925 to the late Richard S. and Bennie Comer Dowdy, Sr. Besides his wife, Richard leaves his two sisters, Louise Dowdy Justice of Pittsburgh , PA and Jean Dowdy Tate of State College, PA; four nephews; one niece, Terry Lynn Parker and one special nephew, Rafeeq (Jerry) Salahuddin. He was predeceased by three siblings, Fannie Katherine Dowdy, Bernice Marcella Dowdy Smith, and James Dowdy. Richard grew up in Pittsburgh and lived most of his adult life in Hamden. He attended Morehouse College; earned his B.A. and M.A. in Economics from Duquesne University; studied at the University of Pittsburgh, culminating in candidacy for the Ph.D. in Economics; received his J.D. degree from Yale University Law School. Upon graduating from law school at the age of 42, Richard joined the personal staff of David Rockefeller working in the family offices in Rockefeller Center with central responsibility for the support of Mr. Rockefeller's participation in national organizations dealing with urban problems. Richard was a Professor of Business Law at Quinnipiac University for 26 years, where twice he was voted Faculty Advisor of the year. Before his long association with Quinnipiac, he had been an Urban League executive in Pittsburgh; Human Relations Advisor to Mayor Richard C. Lee of New Haven; founder of the Urban League of New Haven; lecturer on American Studies at Yale University's Foreign Student Institute; Interim Commissioner of Antipoverty operations under New York City Mayor John V. Lindsey; troubleshooter for the Federal Office of Economic Opportunity and the Ford Foundation; national panel of Arbitrators of The American Arbitration Association; associated with the Greater New Haven Business & Professional Association assisting minority businesses; long time Associate Fellow of Morse College of Yale University and has served on numerous boards and committees in the New Haven are, Pittsburgh, and New York City. An athlete since grammar school, Richard's talents led him to two seasons playing with the Harlem Globetrotters and semi-professional basketball and baseball, including the Pittsburgh Crawfords of the Negro League. He proudly served his country during WWII, as a B-25 crew chief in the Army Air Force and was a member of Luke's Episcopal Church in New Haven. Richard has enjoyed a lifelong love for sacred music and has sung in church choirs and other choral groups during all of his adult life. A Funeral Service will be held at BEECHER & BENNETT, 2300 Whitney Ave., Hamden on Saturday, May 29th at 10:00 a.m. followed by interment with Military Honors at Beaverdale Memorial Park. Friends may visit with the family from 9 to 10:00 a.m. at the funeral home.

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  1. From the Office of Alumni Relations at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, I wish to express our heartfelt condolences to the Dowdy Family. We are proud to say that Richard spent time on the Duquesne campus, earning both a B.A. in 1949 and a Masters degree (1952) in economics. As a Duquesne alum, he went on to pursue advanced degrees and built an outstanding career that continued to echo the Mission of Duquesne as an educator: .To Serve God by Serving Students.. Please know that our hearts are heavy as we share your pain, yet we rejoice in the Joy of the Risen Lord – knowing that Richard will be rewarded for a life of service. May he rest in the Peace of Our Lord!

  2. Mr. Dowdy was a gentleman. I enjoyed the conversations we shared about life and love of family. He has been missed at Quinnipiac. My deepest sympathy to his family. Better for knowing him, Marisa Melillo

  3. My thoughts and prayers are with the Dowdy family. I had Professor Dowdy for business law in the ’90s at Quinnipiac. He was a great teacher and everyone who knew him loved him!!! He will be greatly missed!

  4. One of the Professors at Quinnipiac University that I hold very dear to my heart and soul passed away. His name was Richard Dowdy. Professor Dowdy had a special glow and a special way about him and for those who knew him, you knew he also had a twinkle in his eye when he spoke. He has such great compassion for others. I like to think he and I had a very special relationship. We would talk for long hours, we laughed and shared stories of our lives. He was so smart, funny, kind, sweet, caring, and had many talents. I have learned so much from him. He made me smile everyday, I looked forward to seeing him and going to class. He made me a better person. I cherished him in and outside of the classroom. I will never forget him and the wonderful person he was.

  5. I was a student in two graduate-level courses Mr. Dowdy taught at Quinnipiac in the late ’80s, and want to echo the comments by others as to what a true gentleman he was…as well as a scholar. While we were aware of his association with the Harlem Globetrotters, his many professional involvements and accomplishments were not something he ever referred to — a testament to his humility. Of all of the instructors in my undergraduate and graduate studies at Quinnipiac, Mr. Dowdy stands tall (pardon the obvious pun) in my recollections. My sincere consolences to his family on the loss of a remarkable man.

  6. I am a former student of Mr. Dowdy (Business Law) and just learned of his passing. He was one of the best teachers I have ever had. He cared so much about ethics and doing the right thing. I was very inspired by him and feel very lucky to have been one of his students. The world has lost a truly great man.

  7. i met Richard through his lovely wife grayce who has been like a mom too me. i was sad to hear of Richards passing. I did have an opportunity to visit with Grayce with my biological mom and we all sat and talked about the days of old. Just this weekend 07/04/11 my mom visited me here in new haven from nyc. we went to visit Grayce and was informed she had since moved, sold the home and returned to pittsburgh. Can someone please inform her to contact her dear son travis at 203-675-7676…thank you and god bless you and your family….xoxoxo

  8. Mr. Dowdy was a fellow choir member and good friend of my father, Robert L. Hill. Miss Grace, his wife, was a mother to me when I was very small, and my own mom was ill. I remember my father disciplining me by threatening to .tell Miss Grace., and I quickly fell into line. I didn’t want to disappoint Ms. Grace, who was so refined, beautiful, and most of all sweet to me when I was too young to go to Kindergarten, and she would keep me all day as a favor to my dad. Mr. Dowdy is the first man who made me blush – he was so dignified and handsome, and what a voice! I distinctly remember him kissing my hand one day after church when I was about 8, and calling me little lady – imagine how far he had to bend to do that! It didn’t help that my mom laughed telling him I had a crush on him – he was my first kiss on the hand, and first major embarrassment of my life! My final memory is of Mr. Dowdy’s Thunderbird convertible. My dad loved that car so much that Mr. Dowdy offered to sell it to him, but dad had 2 daughters, and a wife to support on a then small teacher’s salary so he could only dream of ownership of such a car. I’m pleased to say the years were kind to my parents, my sister, and I, and dad fulfilled his dream of owning Mr. Dowdy’s car by purchasing a Lexus sports convertible he drives proudly to this day. Mr. Dowdy and Miss Grace I have so many good memories and love, but my final words are God bless you both, and thank you for every kindness, and the love you gave to me and my family. I know we’ll all meet again one day. Robin L. Hill

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