MARY JANE HUNTER DOW
Mary Jane Hunter Dow was born June 16, 1920, in Rolfe, Iowa. She was the only child of Robert and Lucerne Symes Hunter. Robert, who was known to many as Bobby, had a creamery and Maytag store in Rolfe. Lucerne had a hat shop. Both were well-known and appreciated in the Rolfe community.
Mary Jane died suddenly November 23, 2009, while sitting in her chair at home and talking with son Bob about her favorite things: family and food.
Mary Jane was a proud native of Iowa and told many entertaining stories of growing up in her beloved Rolfe. She graduated from Rolfe High School in 1936 and attended Drake University. After the outbreak of World War II she worked in the Civil Service for the U.S. Army in Washington, D.C., living the drama and excitement of that vital place and time. She later transferred to California, where she met Russell Arthur Dow, a U.S. Marine dive bomber pilot. They corresponded during his deployment to the South Pacific and were married September 16, 1945 in Rolfe. They lived and raised their family in California, Colorado, New York and Iowa as Russ advanced in his career. She provided a comfortable home and worked variously for a guaranty company, the Iowa Department of Transportation, and as a real estate agent and investor, which became a passion. Following retirement she and Russ lived in Arizona and Utah, enjoying many road trips in their RV. Russ preceded her in death in 2002.
Mary Jane was inquisitive, fun-loving, reflective, and had a mind of her own. Her faculties remained sound, and she played a mean game of bridge. She was a rockhound and transformed many of her finds into lovely jewelry. Cooking was a passion; her family enjoyed the final batch of her famous cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving Day. A life-long, devoted student of Christian Science, she served as Reader, Sunday school teacher and pianist, most recently attending Third Church of Christ, Scientist in Holladay. She learned to dance at age three standing on her dad's feet and stopped dancing only recently, primarily because she outlived her partners! An Iowan at heart, she loved the soil and had thriving gardens of flowers and vegetables, especially corn, wherever she lived. She had an intrepid spirit and will be greatly missed.
She is survived by her daughter Cheryl Lucerne Houck of Tucson; son Robert Russell Dow and wife MJ of Salt Lake City; grandsons Nathan Houck (and Kathleen) of Clarinda, Iowa; Earl Houck (and Melody) of Tucson; Reed Dow and Luke Dow of Salt Lake City. She is also survived by five great-grandchildren. A memorial service honoring the life of Mary Jane Hunter Dow was held Saturday, November 28 at 10:00 a.m. at the Wasatch Presbyterian Church, 1700 South and 1700 East in Salt Lake. A reception at the church followed the service. The family suggests that people wishing to honor Mary Jane do so by contributing to Best Friends Animal Society (Kanab, UT) or another animal care organization.