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Remembering Mary J. Dowell

01/19/2022 10:53 AM | Lauren Feaster (Administrator)

PD Women-

It is with deep sadness and dismay that I share with you the loss of an incredible leader, and Professional Dimensions sister, Mary Dowell. As many of you know, Mary was a model of fortitude and excellence as she led within PD and the Milwaukee community for decades. Alongside her leadership of a myriad of grassroots and treetop initiatives over the course of her life, she also served as the President of PD from 2010-2012 . While I never had the opportunity to meet Mary, I'm aware of her influence and I'm humbled to benefit from the trails she blazed. Mary was a pioneer, especially in her work towards equity and inclusion which was paramount in the evolution of PD’s race relation work. She was proactive and visionary - a model we can all aspire to as PD women.

Family is taking time to process and would like to hold a memorial service in the Spring/Summer timeframe when it is safer to gather. We will be sure to send details regarding the service and other ways to send condolences as the information is made available. 

In the meantime, we’ve found collective processing and healing power in sharing the legacy and imprint that our members have left with each other. [Below] we are sharing the reflections from PD members on Mary's influence, holding space for her vision and leadership to live on through our organization.  

Mary was a role model who truly exemplified the values of PD, especially in the spirit of breaking down barriers and finding power in the work we can do collectively as women. My thoughts and prayers are with those of you who knew Mary more intimately as you move through this time with a heavy heart. Please know that you are not alone, and that PD is here.  We will navigate these times together.

With love,
Lauren Feaster

Milwaukee Business Journal Article: Former Johnson Controls exec, community leader Mary Dowell dies at 74


Member Submissions

Leana and Mary at the 2018 TEMPO Milwaukee Mentor Awards event

Sacagawea Nomination for Mary Dowell


  • 01/20/2022 11:07 AM | Office Administrator (Administrator)
    I’m so very heartbroken. Mary was a wonderful former co-worker, mentor and friend.

    I nominated Mary in 2019 for the Sacagawea Award. I’m attaching the application to pass on to her family because the nomination letter and the letters of support attempt to capture how amazing she was.


    Erin Henry
  • 01/20/2022 11:11 AM | Office Administrator (Administrator)
    Mary was so very special and I am shocked by this news. She was PD Board President the year after I was and we shared so many times together- lunches, dinners, laughter, frustrations and mutual admiration. I can’t believe this!

    What an incredible loss for this community. She was a woman of steel under a smiling demeanor.

    Barbara Armstrong
  • 01/20/2022 11:14 AM | Office Administrator (Administrator)
    I am saddened by the news of Mary’s passing. She was my sponsor for both PD and TEMPO. She was also a mentor of mine as I onboarded to both organizations and searched for guidance to further develop myself and my leadership. I treasured her advice and unwavering commitment to uplift ALL women. This was most reflected by her book, Playing Through the Fence, where she highlighted the stories of many impactful women. While I haven’t been the closest w/Mary over the past 1-2 years, in much part due to the pandemic….the time that I shared with Mary was very influential. I will forever cherish her counsel, her care, and her endless love for our community.

    Here we are at the 2018 TEMPO Milwaukee Mentor Awards event. We were never “officially paired” through TEMPO’s mentor program, but Mary was definitely an inspiration and mentor to me. May she rest in peace. ❤

    Leana Nakielski
  • 01/20/2022 11:17 AM | Office Administrator (Administrator)
    It is with great sadness to learn of Mary’s passing. I recall the grace with which she handled her presidency of PD. When I think of Mary, I think of elegance. Milwaukee has lost an amazing champion for good.

    Attorney Catherine A. La Fleur
  • 01/20/2022 11:19 AM | Office Administrator (Administrator)
    I was so saddened to hear about Mary. She was a beautiful and talented person and I treasured getting to know her through PD. Here is a reflection that you can pass along to her family...

    A bright spark of light has left us much too soon. As beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside, Mary was a shining star wherever you encountered her. I was grateful to get to know her through PD and work with her on a number of PD initiatives. Forthright yet positive, I valued every conversation that I had with Mary. She has left an indelible mark full of grace on the Milwaukee community, the PD sisterhood and all that knew her. My sincere condolences to her family.

    Pam Klein
  • 01/24/2022 9:41 AM | Office Administrator (Administrator)
    Dear Family,
    I am so sorry to hear of Mary's passing. I will always remember her grace, intelligence, and style.

    Constance Clark


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759 North Milwaukee Street, Suite 404
Milwaukee, WI 53202


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