Cover photo for Barbara Baldwin Dowd's Obituary
Barbara Baldwin Dowd Profile Photo
1948 Barbara 2024

Barbara Baldwin Dowd

November 16, 1948 — January 7, 2024


Barbara Baldwin Dowd, 75, of Watkinsville, Georgia died on Sunday, January 7, 2024, at home following a long battle with ALS.

Born in Glen Head, New York to the late James T. Baldwin and Marie Heck Baldwin, Barbara attended the Green Vale School, graduated from Miss Porter's School, Pine Manor Junior College and from Barnard College, class of 1971. She was studying for a graduate degree in marine biology from the University of Maine where she met a young Army captain and Vietnam veteran, the love of her life, John Francis Dowd.

John and Barbara married June 23, 1973 and moved to Connecticut, where Barbara pursued her masters degree from the Yale School of the Environment and John his doctorate in hydrology. Barbara also worked as a docent at the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale during this time. Simply put, Barbara was also brilliant among her many talents.

In 1984, after their graduations, they moved to Watkinsville, Georgia. John worked at the University of Georgia and Barbara devoted herself to traveling the world, photography, supporting the arts, and playing an outsized role in the lives of countless young cyclists.

She and John’s impact on the cycling community is immeasurable, and undoubtedly helped lay the foundation for the strong, vibrant and connected cycling community that exists in Athens today. When news of her passing came, it was never more evident how many cyclists’ lives she impacted when heartfelt condolences, expressions of grief, and shared memories of good times came pouring in from across the globe.

Barbara and John did not have children of their own but dozens and dozens of cyclists were nurtured under their wings and these were her “children.” She and John’s generosity and kindness have created countless opportunities for others to pursue their own dreams.

And Barabra also loved to travel. She traveled to all seven continents, including Antarctica, where she visited several times along with the Galapagos Islands and Africa.

Barbara is survived by her loving and devoted husband of 50 years, John Francis Dowd; her cousin, George C. Heck and his wife, Anne; her cousins, Elise, Jessica, and Lily Knight; her sister-in-law, Kathy Dowd; and her brother-in-law, James Dowd.

A celebration of Barbara's life will be held Wednesday, January 24th at the Terrace Room of the UGA Botanical Garden from 3-6pm.

In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to ALS UNITED OF GEORGIA, 5881 Glen Ridge Dr. #200, Atlanta, GA, 30328.

Lord and Stephens Funeral Home, WEST, Watkinsville, GA, is in charge of arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Barbara Baldwin Dowd, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Starts at 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Terrace Room

2450 South Milledge Avenue, Athens, GA 30605

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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