Shirley Mae Dowda

April 25,1923 - May 28,2019

Obituary for Shirley Mae Dowda

Shirley Mae Freese was born April 25, 1923, in Buffalo, Wyoming, to William Merrill & Myrle Irene Freese, and went to be with the Lord on May 28, 2019. Shirley was the oldest of eight children and was a mama to all of them: Irene, Bill, Bob, Pat, Gene, Beverly & Gordon. Shirley grew up in Story, Wyoming, attending school in the one room school house. She married at age 17 and had seven children, her last child born when she was 42. She is survived by all seven of her children: Perry (Kathleen) Ames, Merrill (Dana) Ames, Nicole (Dennis) Petersen, David (Kim) Ames, Taylor Allen, Cody (Brenda) Ames, Vie Anna (Kurt) Kulesza. Shirley had a tremendous work ethic, which helped her through financially difficult times. Even when money was tight, her children remember she always managed to make Christmas special for them. Mom loved Christmas, and took joy in decorating every corner, every room in the house. She was known for her home baked Christmas goodies she mailed out, and when you received that box you couldn’t wait to see what all kind of goodies were inside: sugar cookies, fudge, peanut brittle, divinity, date pinwheels, fruit cakes - and those popcorn balls! It was in September 1975 when Shirley was living in Burien near Seattle, Washington, that she met Roy Dowda, the love of her life. Roy brought two grown children, Ron and Lynne, to the marriage and they loved all their children equally. Over the next 25+ years their life was full of travel and many adventures with family and friends. The two settled in Republic in 1979 and built a two story log cain they called home for many years. Republic was who they were, and the two of them made the cabin a special place. Mom took joy in all things in life, journaling even the smallest details in her diary. She had many interests from sewing (so many bears!) and gardening, to hunting, clam digging, and fishing. Mom’s secret weapon to catching the most fish was eating black licorice before baiting the hook. She loved to cook and bake, no one ever went hungry at Mom & Roy’s house, and there was always room for one more at the table. Mom never complained, never talked bad about anyone, never judged anyone. She was a good listener, and you always knew your secrets were safe with her. She had a great laugh and loved conversation. Mom loved kids, ALL kids, whether they were hers or not. She was a grandma, a great-grandma, even a great-great grandma! Best of all, Mom was a Christian. She loved the Lord, and even when her cognition was failing her the last several years she could be heard often at night murmuring “In Jesus name Amen”. We will all love and miss her forever, but are so thankful to know she is having a glorious homecoming in Heaven and that she is finally whole.

A public Memorial and Celebration of Life will be held Monday, June 10th, at 9:30am, at the Republic Presbyterian Church, 605 S Keller Street Republic, burial at 12:00pm at the Republic Cemetery.

Photos & Video

Add New Photos & Video


Honor the life of Shirley Mae Dowda

Please share a condolence, photo or memory of Shirley. We welcome all condolences that are positive and uplifting that will help family and friends heal.

Leave a message to share your favorite memories and offer words of sympathy and comfort:

Enter Your Phone Number

To leave a condolence message, add photos, or add videos, please provide your name and email address.