Robert (Bob) A. McDowell

March 25, 1943 - February 20, 2024

February 20, 2024, sadly marked the passing of Robert (Bob) A. McDowell at his home in Gardnerville, Nevada after a long, heroic battle with kidney disease. He was 80.

Bob was born in Berkeley, California to William and Patricia McDowell. He graduated from El Cerrito High School and received his B.S. in Natural Resources Conservation in 1967 and his Master of Science in Forest Management in 1973 from Humboldt State University. He earned a Graduate Level Certificate for Environmental Planning at UC Davis.

He served as a Naval Officer during the Vietnam era between September 1967 and July 1970. He was the Commanding Officer of two ships and was immensely proud of his service.

Bob’s 30-year professional career was with the U.S. Forest Service. Most of it protecting and preserving the forests of Lake Tahoe. He was a critical player in revamping the Tallac site.

Working with the newly formed non profit Tahoe Rim Trail Association started out as a part of his Forest Service job but became much more. He quickly became a Board member and then a volunteer. In 1984, Bob was one of the crew leaders that built the first section of the Tahoe Rim Trail. He loved being a part of something outdoor enthusiasts would enjoy for many years to come. He continued supervising trail building crews and was recognized as being a “Master Trail Builder”. Bob was appointed to the Tahoe Rim Trail Advisory Board in 1999.

He always had a strong and sincere personal commitment to actively serve his community and his attention to detail was legendary. Other past volunteer/service clubs he participated in were the Kiwanis Sunrisers, the President of the Lions Club and President of the Audubon Society.

In 1992, Bob married the love of his life and soulmate, Lynda McKissock Kjer. They spent 31 wonderful years camping, hiking, birding, traveling, and enjoying their yearly vacation on Maui. They were always getting geared up for their next adventure. Bob’s devotion to Lynda was truly inspirational.

Retirement did not slow Bob down; he co-founded the Chimney Rock Chapter of the Nevada Fire Safe Council in 2004 and served as its Chairman until 2011. He wrote many grants securing hundreds of thousands of dollars to perform defensible space projects around his lower Kingsbury neighborhood.

Bob was elected to the Kingsbury General Improvement District (KGID) board in 2012, and served until moving to Gardnerville, Nevada in 2014.

He quickly found a way to serve his new neighborhood and was appointed to the Gardnerville General Improvement District (GRGID) board in 2015 and was elected to the board in 2016 and 2020.

Bob is survived by his wife, Lynda, his two children, Caroline McDowell and Morgan (Tina) McDowell, his stepchildren, Kevin Kjer (Kristy), Kirsten Jobb and Karyn Clay (John), his grandchildren; Lucia, Madden and Marley McDowell, his step grandchildren; Kyle, Kelsey and Kaitlyn Kjer, A.J and Taylor Jobb, Charly Clay and Step great grandson, Kamden Kjer. He was loved by many sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law. Bob was preceded in death by the mother of his children, Suzanne McDowell and his brother, Bill McDowell.

The forests, trails, and neighborhoods around Lake Tahoe are better off because of a lifetime of dedication by Bob McDowell, he will be deeply missed.

There will be a Celebration of Life in the Spring.