William Frank Dowd

October 17, 1933 – January 8, 2023

William Frank Dowd

William (Bill) Dowd, 89, passed away peacefully on January 8, 2023, in Sacramento, CA.  He was born in 1933 to Dorothea Sweet Dowd and Myron Brown Dowd, the fourth of five children. The Dowd’s lived in Alameda, CA where Bill attended Haight Elementary and Alameda High School. After graduating from high school, he attended U.C. Berkeley and became a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity. He was a shot putter and discus thrower on the UC Berkeley track team. He received his BS Degree and his commission as a 2nd Lt. in the US Army.


Bill married his high school sweetheart, Nancy Anderson, and they shared a “Happy-ever-after” love affair for over 60 years. They spent their army years in Texas, before happily returning to California. Bill worked for Shell Oil Company and then bought a Shell Station in Sunnyvale. During his years in the service station business, he was active in the Cherry Chase Merchants Association and the Sunnyvale Metropolitan Lyons Club, where he served as President. His next business venture was in the accounting business, when he started Automated Business Systems, specializing in service station bookkeeping. Bill and Nancy worked together for many years and were joined by Rick & Dana in the family business. They raised their four children in Cupertino, where they enjoyed over 40 wonderful years.


Bill was the VERY proud “Papa” of his large family – his four children, eleven grandchildren, and eleven great grandchildren, affectionately referred to as “The Dowd Crowd”. He was especially proud of the fact that all his children and grandchildren had received their college degrees, and some their master’s degrees. He taught his children the value of hard work, and they were expected to “earn their keep”. They learned how to create a beautiful yard, how to fix a broken sprinkler, how to prune trees, lay bricks, pour concrete, build a gazebo, and so many valuable life lessons. He always said that he could “fix anything but a broken heart”, and he could!  By the time his children left for college, they were all very well trained and ready for life on their own.


Bill had an incredible sense of humor and loved to tell stories, play his ukulele, sing, sing, sing, play gin rummy, work word puzzles, and travel. His favorite trips included skiing, beach fun at Rio Del Mar, New Year’s celebrations in the desert and the many wonderful cruises with the “Skreezers” crowd. He always enjoyed a good party! His caregivers at Prairie City Memory Care referred to him as “A Bright Light”, and that he was!  With his winning smile and sparkling eyes, he truly was “one in a million”! He will be missed by all who knew and loved him.


Bill is survived by his loving wife, Nancy, his children, Rick (Genine), Dana Balzer (Jeff), Tom (Cindy). Brian (Ginny), his grandchildren, and his great grandchildren. Bill is also survived by his sister Sally Conterno of Greensboro NC, and numerous nieces and nephews.