Hugh Conor McDOWELL, March 11, 1995-May 9, 2019: 1st. Lieutenant United States Marine Corps, Bravo Company Platoon Commander, Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, Camp Pendleton, California. Conor, beloved child of Susan Marie Flanigan and Michael Hamilton Coulter McDowell, and fiance of Kathleen Isabel Rose Bourque, was killed on Thursday, May 9th at 9 a.m. (Pacific Time) while on manoeuvres, leading his new platoon. His lead light-armored vehicle, containing 6 enlisted Marines, plunged into a concealed depression, completely turning over, and Conor died instantaneously, as a result of the rollover. Conor saved the gunner in the twin turret on his left, quickly pushing the corporal down into the safety of the heavy armor, but it was too late to save his own life. Conor was loved by his men and as the New Testament says: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” His parents are so proud that Conor put his Marines first. Conor was due to announce his engagement and marriage to the love of his life, Kathleen, a beautiful, tall, slender, accomplished psychology graduate of Loyola University, Baltimore, headed for an MA and PhD. They were deeply in love, after a whirlwind romance which began in North Carolina in July of last year, and settled into an apartment him Cardiff-By-the-Sea near the ocean outside San Diego, with their three pets. His parents loved Kathleen from the first time they met her and later hosted her with Conor at their home in Chestertown, MD, during Thanksgiving and over Christmas. She is a wonderful warm, steady person, and adored our son, and he adored her. Kathleen’s family are originally from the Boston and Indianapolis areas, but make their home in Salisbury, North Carolina. Conor was a warrior, like Michael’s father in the Royal Ulster Rifles in the Western Desert, Sicily, and Italy in World War Two. Sadly, he never met his paternal grandfather, but Conor felt as if he knew him and he had his grandfather’s campaign medals. Conor, since he was a small boy, wanted to be a soldier, and later, a Marine. He excelled. He read broadly, was intellectually curious, and physically outstanding — slim, fit, six feet plus, and sunny and passionate in personality. He was above all a LEADER and majored in history, minoring in French, at The Citadel, the historic military college in Charleston, South Carolina, established in 1842. Junior Cadets trusted, loved and admired Conor, who, while pushing them to a high standard, supported and encouraged them. Conor protected the vulnerable and stressed, especially young women, and minorities, who relied on Conor’s discretion and good judgment. Conor graduated from The Citadel in May, 2017, and was Provost Marshal of 1st Battalion and in Alpha Company. He was commissioned into the US Marine Corps the day before his Citadel graduation. He began his Marine training at Quantico, Virginia, where he also qualified for the highly competitive Infantry Officer Course, and was one of only two young officers in his group, to be selected for Light Armored Reconnaissance, a tip-of-the-spear unit of the Corps. Hugh Conor McDowell grew up on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, until he was 3, and then moved to Chevy Chase, on the DC side, where he went to Lafayette Elementary, and later Deal Junior High, both public schools. He chose St. John’s College High School, near his home, the historic Catholic De La Salle French Christian Brothers school, founded in 1852, specifically because it had a crack Army ROTC unit. Conor, in his senior year, became Command Sergeant Major of the unit. He chose The Citadel because it graduated a huge number of Marine officers and had a rigorous physical and academic regime. Conor was well travelled. Throughout his childhood the family flew eight times to France on summer holidays, and to visit the McDowell/Orchard families in the UK and Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Germany, and Canada. Conor was an acolyte, reader, and church school student at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square, “The Church of the Presidents” (1816), opposite the White House, where his parents were married. He played community soccer with the Stoddert League for many years, and rugby at St. John’s College High School. Conor developed a passion for sign language, music, and animals early in his childhood, and continued to pursue those deep interests throughout his life. From 18 months, to five years old, Conor attended the Child Development Center at Gallaudet University near his home on Capitol Hill, where his mother worked for 26 years, and he developed a life-long love of signing. Conor was an avid drummer and began taking lessons at The Tree House School of Music in Montgomery County, Maryland, when he was in middle school and moved on to teach drumming there to younger children each summer. Conor’s parents instilled in him a love for creatures, big and small, and he grew up with his beloved and large male tabby cat, Tiger, and his female Sharpei-mix dog, Penny. Conor and his fiancee, Kathleen, quickly adopted two cats, Missy and Max, and their female Labrador puppy, Ruthie, when they arrived in California. They often visited the San Diego Zoo, where he was fascinated by the various exotic animals. There is a massive hole in the hearts of the McDowell, Flanigan, and Bourque families, and their friends. He was his parents’ only beloved child, in whom they were well pleased. They pray they will meet their son after they themselves pass on. Family suggest contributions to be made in Conor`s memory to the following: Tree House School Of Music 12798 Scaggsville Rd Highland, Maryland 20777 The Citadel Foundation 171 Moultrie St Charleston, North Carolina 29409 To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Mr. Conor McDowell please visit our Sympathy Store.
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Conor McDowell March 11 1995 May 9 2019.
Death notice for the town of: Annapolis, state: Maryland