Friends, family mourn loss of 'wonderful person'

By Jennifer Amavisca

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Friends and family of UA student Heather Ann Dowd remember her as an outgoing, beautiful and happy person who loved life and the outdoors.

"Heather was a wonderful person who didn't have a mean bone in her body," said Laura Stuken, family studies senior and Dowd's best friend.

"She had one of those rare smiles," said Joe Camacho, UA sociology junior and her friend for two years. "Once you saw her, everything was okay with the world. She was not into being sad."

Heather's father, John Dowd, said she was very open to making new friends because she grew up living in different places and cultures. "She was a very sensitive person and made everybody smile," Dowd said.

Heather Ann Dowd died early Monday morning from injuries sustained in a three-car accident at North Campbell Avenue and East Sixth Street. She was 21.

An anthropology senior with a Spanish minor, Dowd loved the mountains, climbing, biking anything outdoors, said Ryan Weiss, who met Dowd during their freshman year in Arizona-Sonora Residence Hall.

"She started camping at birth because her mom and I always camped. She truly loved this desert," her father said.

"She pictured her life somewhere in the mountains," said Greg Pollio, who met Dowd four years ago while they lived in the residence hall. "There isn't one person that knew her who didn't love her."

Weiss said they were planning on attending the Nine Inch Nails concert later this month.

"I was having a hard time finding someone to go with me because the concerts can get a little rough," he said. "But Heather was psyched to go."

Born Dec. 15, 1973, in Puerto Rico, Heather Ann Dowd grew up in Argentina and New York. After graduating from Sutherland High School in Rochester, N.Y. in 1991, she attended the University of Arizona.

She was working as a waitress at Suite 102, a restaurant and bar at 5350 E. Broadway. During the last year, Dowd also worked at Zachary's Pizza and Pizza City, both located on East Sixth Street.

Recently, Dowd had taken the semester off from school to work and to decide what she wanted to do in life, Camacho said.

"She told me she wanted to be an outward-bound instructor," he said. "But she had decided to come back to school next semester."

"She had a bit of a wanderlust and a hunger to travel and meet people," her father said, adding that she wanted to complete college.

In memory of Dowd, Pollio dropped some roses off at Gates Pass and Weiss placed some sunflowers at the intersection where she died.

Weiss, however, does not hold a grudge against the driver who hit Dowd.

"People need to realize that it could have been anyone (in that intersection)," he said.

Preceded in death by her mother, Dowd is survived by her father, John Dowd of Bozeman, Mont.

A memorial service will be held tomorrow at Gates Pass from 5 p.m. to sunset, and Dowd will be mentioned at a 5 p.m. Mass Saturday at San Xavier Mission, 1950 W. San Xavier Road.

Wildcat reporter Shannon M. Davis contributed to this report.

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