Jairl Parr Dowell

Jairl Parr Dowell

Died May 16, 2000

Yale did not even come close to taking the Texas out of Jairl Dowell. Born and raised in Amarillo, Jairl earned his law degree from the University of Texas (where he also won the school’s annual short story contest) and then went home to Amarillo.

Jairl then went to work for American National Bank in Amarillo and became executive vice president of the Trust Department. In 1972 he became a trial attorney for one of the city’s largest law firms, specializing in the trial and appeal of commercial disputes. Then, in 1974, Jairl joined the staff of Texas American Bank, first in charge of the Financial Services Division and eventually becoming the bank’s executive vice president.

In 1987, Jairl was appointed a judge of the 108th District Court, handling both criminal and civil cases. After he left the court, he went into private practice, representing some of the state’s largest corporations.

Perhaps Jairl’s proudest possession was a Stag Triumph, a four-seater convertible built in the 1970s. “He loved that car so much he bought it twice,” his daughter Paige says – missing it so much after he sold it that he bought it back. His sports were golf and swimming, which he did at the Amarillo Country Club and the local YMCA. His contributions to the community included serving on the boards of the Amarillo Community Council, YMCA, Campfire Council, Lone Star Ballet, Ronald McDonald House, Children’s Rehabilitation Center and NAACP.

Jairl married for the first time in 1964 to Victoria Cazzell a graduate, naturally, of the University of Texas. After that marriage ended in divorce, he married Lynn Ficke, another Texas girl with whom he’d gone to high school. Jairl had one child, Richard DeBerry, by his first wife, and two, Paige Tebeest and Austin Dowell, by his second wife.

In 1997 Jairl left Amarillo but not Texas. He moved to Dallas to become General Counsel for Family of Eagles, a company which marketed gold coins. While in Dallas, Jairl fell victim to a rare autoimmune disease called Goodpasture’s syndrome, which attacks the kidney and lungs. In Jairl’s case the disease was apparently triggered by solvents used to clean carpets in his office. Dialysis kept Jairl alive, but he steadily weakened, and he died of pneumonia on May 16, 2000.