Mrs. Norma Jean Bryant Dowd, 90 years old of Fayetteville, N.C., passed away peacefully on March 25, 2022. Norma Jean was born on June 26, 1931, in River Junction, Florida, to the late Raymond Worth and Lena Strickland Bryant. Preceding her in death was her husband of 65 years, William Curtis Dowd; and sisters; Elizabeth Bryant Curlin, Evelyn Bryant Gaines, and Lois Bryant Brasington.
Norma Jean grew up in Stedman, North Carolina and graduated from Stedman High School, where she was a varsity football cheerleader and played varsity basketball. She often brought her enthusiasm to the dinner table after Rick and Suzanne's ballgames with her many coaching tips. She graduated from Columbia Business School in Columbia, South Carolina, while living with her beloved sister Lois and Breezy Brasington, and dating long distance the love of her life Curtis Dowd.
Norma Jean was a perfectionist at every thing she approached in personal and professional life, and had the highest standards and expectations for her loved ones. She served for more than 30 years as the executive assistant to the Deputy Commander of the United States Air Force at Pope Air Force Base. The meaningful professional and personal relationships she and Curtis developed with the many rotations of commanding officers and their families lasted a lifetime.
Norma Jean was a devoted and active member of Judson Missionary Baptist Church. She taught Sunday School and Childrens' Sunday night Training Union for over 32 years. She was an active member of the Women's Mission Union ("WMU").
Norma Jean was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister and aunt to her extended family. She loved her extended family which included all of Curtis' siblings and their families. Her love and influence will be felt for generations to come.
She is survived by her loving son, Richard Curtis Dowd and wife Angela Rabb Dowd of Raleigh, N.C.; devoted daughter, Suzanne Dowd Bracey and husband Joseph Karl Bracey of Lake Waccamaw, N.C.; three grandsons, Allen Curtis Bracey and wife Candace of Durham, N.C.; Derrick Hayes Bracey and wife Carmen of Angier, N.C.; and Richard Bryant Dowd of New York City, N.Y.; two great grandchildren, Brooks Hayes Bracey and Hazel Beier Bracey; and two very special nephews and niece, David Stuart Gaines, Raymond Gregory Gaines and Gloria Gaines Wall; and a host of extended loving family and friends.
Special thanks for the loving care provided by Ruth Packer, Gloria McCall, Ramona Averitte and Carolyn Barefoot.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, March 28, 2022, at 2 pm at Judson Missionary Baptist Church with Rev. Eddie Brookshire presiding. The family will receive friends prior to the service on Monday, from 1 to 2 pm at the church.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests that memorial contributions be made to Cape Fear Valley Hospice, 2301 Robeson St., Suite 202, Fayetteville NC 28305 or Judson Baptist Church, 505 Judson Church Road, Fayetteville NC 28312.