Attorney John R. Dowd, Sr.
John R. Dowd, Sr., who served as County Attorney for Okaloosa County for more than 40 years, passed away peacefully on Nov. 8, 2020. He was 78.
John was born on Aug. 31, 1942, in DeRidder, Louisiana. He attended Choctawhatchee High School and graduated from St. Bernard Prep School in Cullman, Alabama. His earned his undergraduate at the University of Florida. Later, John was in the charter class at Florida State University College of Law, in which every member passed the Florida Bar Exam on the first attempt.
After he graduated from law school, John came back to Fort Walton Beach and entered practice with his father-in-law, Ernest Wimberly. John later became the Okaloosa County Attorney, for which he served the longest tenure of any County Attorney ever in the state of Florida. He was a brilliant lawyer and assisted the County Commission in negotiating countless contracts to improve the quality of life of the citizens of Okaloosa County. He loved Okaloosa County and was honored to have the privilege to serve it for so many years.
John had an unbelievable way with people. When he spoke, you listened. His laugh and smile were one of a kind which drew you in and will never be matched. You could think you were the most worthless person in the world and, after speaking with him for about five minutes, you would be on top of the world. He was always able to come up with the perfect strategy to get you through any dilemma, legal or otherwise.