Mary Dowker

A photo of Mary Dowker



On Sunday March 4, 2018, Mary Frances Elizabeth Dowker, loved by her children Martha Lee Jackson (Manley), Irwin Dowker (late Debra) and Steven Dowker (Marilyn), passed away at the age of 91 years. Mary will be remembered with great fondness by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren David Dowker, Lynetta & Matt Keech (with their children Brayden and Amelia), Matthew & Adriana Dowker (with their children Marilyn and Albert), Shannon & Antun Jurcic (with their children Marija, Luka and Joseph), Melissa Dowker & Terrence Copeland (with their children Lyla and Kaelen Copeland) and Kent & Carly Jackson who are expecting Baby Girl Jackson soon. Mary was predeceased by her husband Keith in 2005.

Born in Tilbury East to the late Vernon & Irene Irwin, Mary was one of four children and is survived by her sister Edith Stark (Murray). She was predeceased in life by her sister Ruth (late Redge Crothers and George Richardson) and by her brother Jim Irwin.

After Mary and Keith were married they lived and worked on a farm on the Fourth Line. When they moved to Blenheim in 1967 Mary started working at the new Blenheim Community Golf Course where she became well known for her absolutely amazing meals and also at the BDHS Cafeteria where she could be counted on for slipping a few extra fries on a plate or making an extra special sandwich for students and staff. Everyone knew when Mary was at work because the smell of baking that came from the kitchen was second to none. You were fortunate if you got to try Mary’s chocolate cake that nobody has ever been able to replicate. Mary retired in the early 1980’s but not before she opened her home to capable adults, being one of the first approved boarding homes through Southwestern Regional Centre. She also worked as a PSW with Community Living. Mary’s retirement years were spent in Blenheim, Chatham and most recently Ridgetown.

There are many changes and challenges that occur over the course of 91 years; some good and some not but the sum of those experiences helped to make Mary who she was. She knew hard work. She was a teenager during the depression and a young lady during WWII. She was determined as a young bride and mother to make sure that her family didn’t go without. That determination continued through the past few weeks as she fought to stay but it wasn’t to be. She is now at peace. Her wish of sharing the last journey of her life with those closest to her took place on Saturday March 10, 2018 when her family gathered at Evergreen Cemetery and laid her to rest with Keith.

Friends wishing to remember Mary with a memorial donation are asked to consider the Chatham-Kent Hospice.

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Our condolences to Mary's family. Besides hearing stories from Steve and Marilyn I also remember her in the cafeteria. She lived a long fulfilling life and certainly has a lot of good memories to pass on to the ever growing family.

to Mary Frances's family and friends I am thinking of you as you go through this sad time. I was a cousin. (Daughter of Dora and Russell Powell) I grew up on the Powell homestead on the "middle road." I had not seen Mary Frances for a very long time. I do remember her very well from earlier times. I believe she sometimes babysat my brother and I. I did see Ruth a few times over the past years and also some of her relatives during those visits. I also ran into Edith and Murray at one of the Merlin reunions held in 2010 and 2011. Sincere condolences Margaret and Jack Adderley

Dear Martha Lee, Manley, Kent & families ...So very sorry to read of your loss ... our deepest condolences Paul & Greg

Martha Lee, Irwin, & Stephen, My deepest condolences on the passing of your mother. I remember her from my youth and will keep those memories of her close, in my heart. Thinking of you all and your families. With heartfelt sympathy, Diane Caughy & Paul Atkinson

Dear Martha, Manley and family ... we send our sincere condolences on the loss of your Mom. Please know that you are all in our thoughts. Ken, Judi, Aaron, Megan, Justin & Ryan

Would like to offer condolences to the Dowker family, from the family of the Late Tom & Julia Stewart, plus Joe (late) & Cecilia Stewart. I remember Mary to fondly ... Patt Stewart

Sorry for your loss..thinking of you all. God bless. Love, the Tennessee Dowker's

Martha and family. I am saddened to hear your Mom has passed away. May the Lord comfort you at this sad time. I remember you as a student at the Baird School - and that we share the same birthday date - December 16th.

Martha and Steve and families, so sorry to hear of your mother's passing. Memories are a wonderful thing, and I am sure you will have many to comfort you at this sad time. Condolences, Lana and Mario

So sorry for your loss!!

May you find comfort in your many precious memories. Thinking of you all. Sincerely, Ted and Brenda.

Our deepest sympathies the families

So sorry for your loss. Mary was a wonderful person. Never had anything bad to say about anybody. Always wanted to help. She will be missed.

A lovely lady, always so positive and friendy. She will be remembered fondly

Thoughts and prayers are with you all during this very difficult time. Mary and my mom were quite a twosome in the high school cafeteria. Always looked forward to a meal or two at the school! Will cherish those many memories I have of those days.

Marilyn, Steve and family: So sorry to hear of the passing of your mom. Prayers for your family during this difficult time. Thinking of you all.

David my prayers are with you.Sorry to hear about the passing of your Grandmother.

So sorry to hear of the passing of Mary, she was a wonderful woman ♥

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this time..

Condolences to our Canadian cousins. I could always sense the Love my mom had for her family... God be with each of you...

Condolences to our Canadian cousins. I could always sense the Love my mom had for her family... God be with each of you...

My condolence to all of Mary's family she was a wonderful person and will be greatly missed by many. Sally and Terry Benge

so sorry to hear about the loss of your mother ,grandmother and great grandmother, i will keep you in my prayers, and yes i enjoyed her cooking while in highschool, Mary and my aunt Marg always put extra on my