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.