William Lee McDow, M.D. of Kershaw, SC died July 20, 2023, at the age of 96 after a short illness related to recent falls but mostly due to old age. Born November 30, 1926, in Lancaster, SC, he was the son of the late Edward Lee and Helen Williamson McDow. Dr. McDow was a graduate of Lancaster High School in 1943. He attended The Citadel and toward the end of World War II answered the call of his country and entered the U.S. Navy and served, by luck of the draw, on the hospital ship, the USS Haven, returning wounded service men back from the south Pacific to home in the U.S. Following his discharge from the Navy, he returned to The Citadel from which he graduated in 1947 and shortly thereafter entered the Medical College (now University) of South Carolina in Charleston from which he graduated in 1951. Following a one-year internship at Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, TN, he returned to SC and joined Dr. Vincent Hyams in the general practice of medicine in Kershaw. Very shortly, he returned to Chattanooga and married the love of his life Sue and she returned to Kershaw with him and has been with him ever since. He continued in the general practice of medicine for 47 years before his retirement. He estimated that he delivered over 2000 babies during his practice. He was a member of the medical staff of Marion Sims (later Springs Memorial) Hospital and chief of staff for several terms. He was also on the Board of Directors of the hospital for a number of years.
Dr. McDow was appointed to the Higher Education Commission of Lancaster County in 1957 and in that capacity served during the first days of the formation of USC-Lancaster. He served as chairman for a number of years and also as chairman of the USC-Lancaster Foundation. Dr. McDow’s first love, after God and his family, were the people of Kershaw. He served his community as physician and in various other capacities including town council and mayor pro tem. He was the Citizen of the Year in 1975 and was awarded a key to the town in 1977 in recognition of his 25 years of service. Because of his various contributions to USC-Lancaster, his hospital, and his community, he was awarded the Order of the Palmetto by Governor Jim Hodges upon his retirement in 1999.
Dr. McDow is survived by his wife, Sue, five children, Lee McDow (Melissa), Kim Faulkenberry (Brad), Bill McDow (Blair), Ben McDow (Kimberly) and Carl McDow (Dana) and by 12 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents, one sister, Mary Frances Ramsey, and one daughter, Pam McKeown (and her husband, Jim).
Funeral services conducted by the Rev. Ken Hicks and Rev. Kevin Hartley will be held at Kershaw Evangelical Presbyterian Church, 201 North Cleveland Street, Kershaw, S.C. 29067 at 11:00 o’clock a.m. Saturday, July 29, 2023, where Dr. McDow was an active, faithful member and served as Elder, Deacon, Treasurer, and Sunday School teacher. The burial at Kershaw City Cemetery will be private for the family and precede the funeral services. Visitation will be held on the church grounds and buildings immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Dr. William L. McDow scholarship fund at Central Carolina Community Foundation, 2142 Boyce St., Suite 402, Columbia, SC 29201 for the benefit of Andrew Jackson High School graduates for college or tech schools’ attendance.
Arrangements are under the care of Baker Funeral Home, Kershaw, SC