Leslie McCrae Dowless, 66, of Bladenboro passed away on Sunday, April 24, 2022. He was preceded by his parents and siblings, Shelton Dowless, James Livingston Dowless, Herman Dowless, Peggy Lou Dowless, Leslie James Dowless, Jr., Nancy D. Pait, Ronnie Hilbourn, and Barbara Collins. McCrae is survived by his daughter, Andrea Heverly (Brent) of Bladenboro, his siblings, Myrtice and Tommy Johnson of Dublin, Harry and Linda Dowless of Hope Mills, Filena and LM Carson of Autryville, NC, sister-in-law Gloria Dowless of Clarkton, grandchildren, Jeremy Wilkes (Amber), Monica Alissa Wilkes, Kayla Roberts, Cameron Heverly, Colton Heverly, Tanner (Alyssa) Harrelson, great grandchildren, Kaylynn and Bentlee Harrelson, special friend Margie McLamb, an abundance of loving cousins, and a loving, supporting group of friends.
McCrae was born on January 3, 1956, at the Bladen County Hospital in Elizabethtown, North Carolina. He was the only child of Leslie James Dowless and Monnie Pait Dowless, but both of his parents had children from previous marriages. With Leslie having seven children, and Monnie having three children, they all made up one big, blended family. When Leslie “McCrae” Dowless was born, he completed the family, and of course as the baby, he was spoiled by all. McCrae often got by with things that his siblings would have never been allowed to do since he was the youngest!
As a young man, McCrae began doing construction work. He also tried his hand at selling cars, and even operated a go cart racetrack one time, but his real love was politics. He became obsessed with local Southeastern North Carolina politics and loved quoting political statistics. Eventually, he learned to predict voting outcomes with amazing precision. Voters in Bladen County knew they would see McCrae Dowless at the voter poles anytime there was an election. He always encouraged everyone he saw to make sure to vote.
When McCrae was not in full election mode, he was busy just being “Papa Crae” to his grandchildren, his daughter and her husband, a role which he loved. They could always call on Papa Crae who was their go to man for anything they needed. Papa Crae was happy to oblige. If there was a problem he could not fix, he always knew who to call to get it fixed!
There were three things people expected to see when they saw McCrae Dowless: A cell phone in one hand, a cigarette in the other hand and a glass of sweet tea at his fingertips. He talked to his friends and family on the cell phone often till late in the night, and if you were on his daily call list, you could count on McCrae to tell you he loved you at the end of every single call.
McCrae marched to the beat of a different drum, always charming and full of personality. He knew practically everybody in the county and could tell everyone how their family trees were connected. His absence will leave a huge void in the lives of all who knew and loved him.
The family will receive friends from 3-4 pm on Saturday, April 30, 2022 at Center Road Baptist Church in Bladenboro. A funeral service will be held at 4:00 pm with Rev. Terry Dove officiating. Burial will follow the services in the Bullard Cemetery in Bladenboro.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the funeral fund of McCrae Dowless paid to Andrea Heverly c/o Bladen Gaskins Funeral Home, P.O. Box 3150, Elizabethtown, NC 28337.