Mary Louise Bow was brought into this world on May 28, 1923 at the Seattle Providence Hospital in Seattle. But, before she got home, they had changed her name to Dorothy Helen Bow, so she was never known by her original name. Dorothy was born to Annette Sylvia Nelson Bow and Thomas Anthony Bow of Kent. Although they were from Kent, they often visited the family beach house in Des Moines, Washington where they spent the summers with Annette's extended family. Dorothy also loved to spend time on her grandparents farm and considered herself a "Tom Boy".
Dorothy was proud of her heritage as a Washington (Kent) pioneer. Each of her four grandparents settled in the Kent Valley by the 1850's. She has always been grounded in Washington and found a passion in later life as the keeper of the family tree, spending countless hours and time traveling the US and Europe to document our lineages. Family was always important to her and she made enormous efforts to make sure that holidays were spent with aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents.
When Dorothy was 10 they moved to West Seattle where she loved the city life and all it had to offer. She was involved in school activities and Campfire girls and enjoyed riding the street cars from place to place throughout the city.
In 9th grade the family moved to Kent, to Dorothy's chagrin, to stay with her father's parents on a farm without a phone or car, miles from the activities of school. She was not happy living away from all the social life, but soon made new friends and found ways to meet up with them and spend the night, not wanting to miss a thing.
In her senior year, she started going out with the dashing, dark haired Leigh and dated for 6 years. When she graduated from high school she took a job with the Puget Power Co. working for Leigh's father. She bought a car with her earnings to help drive Leigh back and forth to the University of Washington. She always wished that she could have gone to college, but her parents believed a good job was better. Leigh stayed in school during most of the war, but eventually went into the Navy and was stationed in San Francisco. On a trip to SF with Leigh's mother, Leigh finally proposed to Dorothy and they were married in Kent shortly after the war.
Leigh took a job with Pacific Northwest Bell Telephone, making many transfers throughout his career. They lived repeated times in Port Angeles, Bremerton, Longview and Seattle, but their one true home was the small cabin they bought in 1962 on Vashon/Maury Island. They spent every summer there and eventually rebuilt and retired there for 25 years. Dorothy again got involved with the social life of Vashon enjoying golf and the country club, book clubs and gardening. She said that her favorite time of life was in her 60's. They traveled the world and went on many golfing trips with dear friends.
With Leigh's health deteriorating in 2011, they decided to move to Judson Park Retirement Community in Des Moines where Dorothy lived for the last 12 years. Again, she met and got reacquainted with old friends from the Seattle area and enjoyed all the activities the community had to offer.
Dorothy celebrated her 99th birthday with family near.
Dorothy had two dear sisters, Imogene Bow Braicks (Harry), and Lorraine Bow Smith (Richard) and always stayed in close contact with them while bringing up her three children, Thomas Leigh (Roberta), John Harry (Amy), and Marilyn Annette (Gary Allen). She also loves all her grandchildren: Michael (Laura), Melanie, David, Eric (Kati), Molly, Bradley and Riley (Taylor), plus her great grandchildren, Isaiah, Jonah, Jensen, Joie and Cooper and a slew of nieces, nephews, great nieces and great grand nephews, keeping up with them all through facebook and emails. Throughout her life she has kept in touch with the extended family, thinking nothing of knowing her second and third cousins as family.
Dorothy will be laid to rest with her husband and family at the Hillcrest Cemetery in Kent, WA.
A memorial date is now confirmed:
Please join us on
Sunday, August 14 at 4pm-7pm
To Celebrate Dorothy's life
With a beach party memorial
Des Moines Creek Park, Founders Lodge
22030 Cliff Ave S, Des Moines, WA 98198
Please dress in casual attire
and bring a memory to share.
We will serve a picnic style light dinner
After a tribute to mom.
There will be parking vouchers at the memorial.
In lieu of flowers, Dorothy would love for you to make a donation to the cause of your choice or the Benevolence Fund through the Judson Park Foundation in Des Moines, WA.
Please share memories, photos and condolences on the Tribute Wall, located above.
Arrangements entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Home - West Seattle