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Ollie Belle Rencher Dowsing was born on April 9, 1924, in Scooba, Mississippi, to Rev. Ollie Levi Rencher and Elizabeth Lockett Rencher. She was the fourth of five children born to Rev. and Mrs. O. L.Rencher. Her siblings preceded her in death. When Ollie was a young girl, the family moved to Holly Springs, MS. There she professed her belief in Christ at Asbury United Methodist Church, where her father was the minster.
Ollie received her early education at Rosenwald Elementary School in Holly Springs. She attended Rust College for secondary education and college, graduating in 1948. Post graduate studies were pursued at Stowe Teachers College in St. Louis, MO.
While at Rust, Ollie met the love of her life, Lonnie Dowsing. They were joined in holy matrimony on December 26, 1948. Lonnie was her companion for thirty years. Patricia Jacqueline was born to this union in 1951.
Professionally, Ollie’s teaching career began in Philadelphia, MS. Shortly thereafter she migrated to join Lonnie, in St. Louis, Missouri. Following the birth of their daughter, she secured a teaching position with the Kinloch School District, Missouri’s first Black city. Ollie taught third grade at Dunbar Elementary School, until 1973. At that time, Kinloch’s School District was merged with the Ferguson-Florissant School District. She retired in 1979.
Upon her retirement, Ollie turned her attention to the loving care of her husband and parents. Her husband departed earthly life in 1986. Both parents lived to be centenarians.
Immediately after moving to St. Louis, Ollie joined Scruggs Memorial C.M.E. Church. She regularly attended church service and Sunday School. Ollie was an active member of the Willing Workers Club and served as leader of the Youth Department. In the late 60’s, she transferred her church membership to Union Memorial United Methodist Church, joining under the pastorate of Rev. Dr. John Doggett. Until her health began to fail, Ollie was a Communion Stewardess and faithful member of the United Women of Faith.
Ollie was an active member, as well as, the treasurer ofthe St. Louis Rust Alumni Club, for more than 30 years. In addition, she served as the Chairperson of the Housing Committee. This committee was responsible for housing Rust College Choir members. Each year the school’s annual spring tour was launched in St. Louis, MO, at Union Memorial UMC.
A Loving Wife, A Wonderful Mother, A Devoted Daughter, A Loyal Sister, A Dedicated Teacher, A Reliable Friend, and An Outstanding Mentor are the best words to describe OLLIE BELLE RENCHER DOWSING. She was A Life-Long Learner who acquired computer skills late in life so she wouldn’t “get left behind”. Ollie possessed an amazing knowledge of herbs and natural healing. She felt that exercise was paramount to living a healthy life style as was evidence by strict adherence to her physical therapy regimen.
Ollie made her transition to eternal life early Saturday morning, December 2, 2023, in her home. She leaves to cherish her memory, one devoted daughter, Patricia Dowsing-Buie (Wayne) of St. Louis, MO, one sister-in-law Vernice Rencher, nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.