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Herbert J. McDowell

October 31, 1951 ~ February 14, 2021 (age 69)

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Herbert J. McDowell, formerly of North Braddock and Somerset, age 69, died on Valentine’s Day Sunday, February 14, 2021, after a prolonged illness.  He was the beloved husband of his childhood Valentine, Vicki (Shephard) McDowell for 51 years. He was the loving father of Heather McDowell of Tarentum, Katy (Brad) Reeping of Franklin Park and Matt (Emily) McDowell of Sellersburg, Indiana. He was the adoring grandfather of 5 granddaughters, who were the apple of his eye: Evelyn Reeping and Aislin, Regan, Miran and Larkin McDowell. He was the dear brother of Mary Ann (late Mark) Dixon of Turtle Creek and Shannon (Bill) Hornick of Wilkins Twp, and is also survived by 1 niece, 2 nephews, and many cousins.

Herb was a graduate of Alexander M. Scott High School in North Braddock. He then attended Carnegie Mellon University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and a master’s degree in Music Education while simultaneously working as a Lab Technician in Braddock Hospital. Upon graduation, he became a Music Educator and Band Director at Somerset High School, where he spent his entire career. He was so proud of his students, many of whom went on to have illustrious careers in the field of music.  He impacted a lot of lives and nurtured a life-long love of music in all his students.  He was dearly loved, and he will be dearly missed.

In addition, Herb was the Principal Trumpet Player for the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra and stayed at that post for over 30 years, and he had a private trumpet studio for his many talented students. Herb was a member of Phi Mu Alpha, PMEA, PSEA and the Elks.  He was an avid golfer, Steeler fan, beach bum, and a history buff.

Herb fought valiantly to stay with his family, but this final battle could not be overcome.

Friends and family are welcome on Wednesday from 3-7pm at Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc., Turtle Creek / Monroeville Chapel, 1111 Monroeville Ave., Turtle Creek, 412-823-9350, where a Private Blessing Service will be held on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. The Blessing Service will be live streamed online and can be accessed via Herb’s obituary at

Herb will be laid to rest in All Saints Braddock Catholic Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider a tribute donation:


February 17, 2021

3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc.
1111 Monroeville Ave
Turtle Creek, PA 15145

Private Funeral Service

Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc.
1111 Monroeville Ave
Turtle Creek, PA 15145

Video is available for this event

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