ELKHART — News of Debbie McDowell’s death circulated around social media and close friends within hours of the incident. Friends described her as a fun, loving person, with a passion to help others.
Clare and Katie Schumm, McDowell’s neighbors, said they last saw her Friday evening, when she took her boy to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles for a driving test. Clare Schumm said they came back saying they forgot some files but that they would go back to the BMV Saturday morning. They didn’t see her again.
“She was a wonderful neighbor, a very giving and helpful neighbor,” said Katie Schumm.
The Schumms knew the McDowells for years. Clare Schumm said he believes the McDowells moved to the neighborhood about eight years ago. They said they know McDowell had two boys in their teens and an older daughter, as well as two grandsons.
McDowell would go to her kids’ games and look after her grandchildren every now and then. She’d also take care of the Schumms’ house when they were out of town.
Tracy Cohee, a childhood friend of McDowell’s husband, Rob McDowell, said the two had been married for about 16 years, were still very close, and always friendly towards others.
“They were great people,” she said about Debbie and Rob McDowell. “They were very loving, very outgoing, they loved to entertain their company.”