Rex Gaylord Dowtin

rex dowtin

November 3, 1945 ~ July 19, 2023

Born in: Asheville, North Carolina
Resided in: Penrose, North Carolina

Rex Gaylord Dowtin, 77, of Penrose, died Wednesday, July 19, 2023 at Charles George VA Medical Center, Asheville.

Born in Buncombe County, he was the son of the late Colonel Rex Dowtin and Mildred (Mooneyham) Dowtin. He spent most of his childhood in California while his father was stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Rex was an Air Force veteran of the Vietnam War, where he held the rank of Sergeant. After his service, he returned to Asheville and began what would be a long career in the utility industry.

His love of flying influenced his decision to obtain a Private Pilot’s license, and he logged countless hours in the skies. He was introduced to so many who shared his passion for flying, many of whom became his close friends. He enjoyed air races and shows, and every year would attend the Reno Air Races, which included both military and civilian demonstrations.

Rex had a passion for hunting, and particularly pheasant hunting. He would regularly travel to South Dakota to hunt pheasant with friends. He was a member and staunch supporter of the National Rifle Association, as well as the Asheville Rifle and Pistol Association.

Rex was a charismatic and life-loving soul who enjoyed, most of all, making people laugh.

He is survived by a daughter, Laura “Mackenzie” Dowtin of Midlothian, VA; and a sister, Lynn Dowtin of Leicester, NC.

A memorial service with military honors will be held Thursday, July 27 at 2:00 PM at Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian with Rev. Phil Roberts officiating. Friends will be received one hour prior to the service, from 1 to 2 PM. A private burial will be held at Calvary Episcopal Cemetery at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Asheville VA Health Care System:

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian is assisting the family.


Visitation: July 27, 2023 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Room: Vestibule

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian
72 Long Shoals Road
Arden, NC 28704


Memorial Service: July 27, 2023 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Room: Sanctuary

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian
72 Long Shoals Road
Arden, NC 28704


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Memories Timeline


  1. Mackenzie I am so sorry for the loss of your Dad. He and I had been reconnecting through Facebook and unfortunately hadn’t seen in other in some time. Praying that the memories that you shared will sustain and bring you joy.

  2. Mackenzie I am so sorry for the loss of your Dad. Praying that the memories that you shared will sustain and bring you joy. Rest easy my dear cousin

  3. If tears could build a stairway an memories a lane, I’d walk right up to heaven and bring you back home again.

  4. Lynn and Mackenzie, I am so sorry to hear of Rex’s passing, I know it was unexpected and a shock to you both. Find solace in a life well lived, as Rex was a good man, brother, and father.
    We send our love and support.

  5. Rex was a friend who I met in the Air Force at March AFB, Riverside, CA in 1966. Rex joined us at our Air Force reunions that we have every year now. He also came to Reno, NV to watch the Reno Air Races. He was a good friend, and I am very sad that he is gone. He will be missed.

  6. Rex was one of the many friends I made during our 4 years at March AFB, Riverside, CA. (1966-1970) We continued the friendships at our B-52 Crew chief reunions. Sadly, we will be toasting Rex and the other fallen crew chiefs in October. Slow salute, Rex.

  7. I have known Rex since our active duty days at March Air Force Base, and although I only saw him at our annual crew chief reunions, I will miss our conversations. My sincere condolences to his family. He was taken too soon.

  8. From the first day he landed Maxine at Transylvania County Airport in 2008 and we put her into hangar #4, Rex has been the best friend I have ever had. He enabled me to obtain my Commercial License (200 hours PIC in Maxine) and fly with him (50+ hours as SIC). Thankfully, our friendship flew waaay beyond just aviation – politics and firearms to name a few. He often called me “brother” and since I had neither brother nor sister it meant a lot. So – miss you my brother.
    Yit’gadal v’yit’kadash sh’mei raba. [May His great Name grow exalted and sanctified]
    Shalom Mackenzie…

  9. Good bye ol’ buddy! Thanks for memories all the way back to our crazy years in the ’60s. Four years on B-52s, Guam, Thailand and then all the reunions since. The Air Race Gang will miss you big time this year.
    Mackenzie, may God bless you in all you do. Rex was my buddy and I sure do miss him. I’ll think of him every time I fly now.

  10. Rex was my buddy and work mate on the flight line at March AFB 1966-70. I have vivid memories riding around with Rex in his corvette. I will now miss seeing and talking with him at our reunions. A great loss for us

  11. I am so sadden by this news. I am shocked to hear that Rex passed. I have never met him in Person but I was his account representative at Myron for a number of years and he was truly a blessing to work with.
    My condolences to the family. May God continue to give you peace.

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