Longtime newspaper editor Bobby Dower passes away - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Longtime newspaper editor Bobby Dower passes away

Bobby Dower, a longtime writer and editor at the American Press, passed away Wednesday afternoon. (Photo courtesy Karen Wink) Bobby Dower, a longtime writer and editor at the American Press, passed away Wednesday afternoon. (Photo courtesy Karen Wink)
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Robert Louis "Bobby" Dower, a long-time writer and editor at the American Press newspaper, has passed away.

The 62-year-old Dower died Wednesday afternoon after a brief illness. Funeral arrangements will be announced by Johnson Funeral Home.

Dower most recently was managing editor but also served as news editor, sports editor and reporter in his 43-year career at the American Press.

He won many state and regional awards for his coverage of McNeese State and high school sports as well as for his work on the newspaper's editorial page.

According to the American Press, Dower is survived by his wife Ann Tobola; their children, Katherine and Hunter Dondero of Lafayette; a sister, Beverly Swanson of Austin, Texas; and two brothers, Tom F. Dower of Houston and Richard K. Dower of Rosenberg, Texas.

The following is the obituary from Johnson Funeral Home:

Robert Louis “Bobby” Dower, 62, died on Wednesday, July 9, 2014, following a short illness.

Born April 5, 1952 in Lake Charles, LA, he was a graduate of Lake Charles High School, Class of 1970, where he ran track and was a member of the Wildcat Band. Bobby graduated from McNeese State University in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. Bobby was also a member of the Wesleyan Handbell Choir at the First United Methodist Church of Lake Charles from 1962 through 1971.

In 1971, he began working part-time at the Lake Charles American Press, a career that spanned 42 years. He was named Sports Editor in 1976. Besides primarily covering McNeese athletics, Bobby covered four Superbowls, one Final Four, and an array of regional and national sporting events.

In 1993, he was named the newspaper’s News Editor, and in 1996 he was named the Managing Editor, a position he held at the time of his death.He was a Former President of the Louisiana Sportswriters’ Association, and he currently served on the LSWA’s Hall of Fame Selection Committee. He was a former Board Member of the Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press Managing Editors’ Association. 

He was also a past President of the Southwest Louisiana Advertising and Press Club and was the club’s Toastmaster. Bobby was the recipient of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism 2015.

Survivors include his loving wife, Ann Tobola of Crowley, LA and their children, Katherine and Hunter Dondero of Lafayette, LA; sister, Beverly Dower Swanson and her husband Andy; and their children, Schuyler and Connor of Austin, TX; two brothers, Tom F. Dower and his wife Tanya Reischman of Houston, TX and Richard K. Dower and his wife Becky and their son, Jeremy Deleon of Rosenberg, TX; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Kenneth and Mary Elaine Tobola of Tuscaloosa, AL; and three sisters-in-law, Karen Greene and her husband Richard, and their children Christian Cockerham, Rachael Stover, Gabrielle Greene, Tabitha Greene, and Richard Greene, Jr., of Indian Springs Village, AL, Lynn Tobola and her spouse, David Roberts of Tuscaloosa, AL and Jennifer McKeon and her husband Mike McKeon of Stamford, CT.

Bobby asks that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Building Fund of The First United Methodist Church of Crowley, LA, The McNeese State University Athletic Department General Scholarship Fund, or the Bayou Bell Choir. 

His funeral service will be 2:00 PM on Saturday, July 12, 2014 at the First United Methodist Church in Lake Charles, LA under the direction of Johnson Funeral Home. Reverends Sunny Farley, Charlie Crews and Elaine Burleigh will officiate. Burial will follow in Highland Memory Gardens. Visitation will be at the church on Friday from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM and continue on Saturday from 12:00 PM until the start of the service.

Words of comfort to the family may be left at www.johnsonfuneralhome.net

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