HANCOCK – Ruth Dowd, 92, died peacefully in her sleep on Thursday, October 5, 2017, at Portage Pointe, where she had been a resident for the past three years.
Ruth was born on October 13, 1924, the daughter of Herman and Selma (Kresse) Tolksdorf. She was born in Germany and moved to Painesdale, with her family when she was two years old. She attended Jeffers High School and later received her GED in 1968.
Ruth held a variety of jobs throughout her life, giving of herself in service to others, most importantly her family and friends. She was employed by Broemer’s in Chassell and Sears Roebuck and Company in Houghton. She was a dedicated wife, mother, grandmother, homemaker and child care provider for much of her adult life.
She married Rudolph Suokas in 1941. Long after their seperation, he preceded her in death in 1984. On December 20, 1947, Ruth married Robert K. Dowd, and they lived happily together until Robert died in 1995.
She was also preceded in death by her son, Michael; her sister, Ingaborg Chappell; her brother, Joachim Tolksdorf; and her great-grandson, Owen Gwaltney.
Ruth was a member of Saints Peter and Paul Lutheran Church of Houghton, and was previously a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Hubbell. She enjoyed bowling in the Copper Bowlettes bowling league and was an avid card player (shark) throughout her life. She truly lived life to the fullest, making laughter a part of each and every day.
Ruth is survived by a daughter, Marcia (Jim) Houle of Hancock; a son, Keith Suokas of Lake Linden; grandchildren, Reid Kuether, Caroline (Geoffrey) Gwaltney, Cherlynn (Tom) Erickson, Debra Alush, Daniel Dowd, James (Rhea) Dowd, Jon (Sandy) Houle and Stephanie (Pete) Martin.
She is also survived by her great-grandchildren, Reese and Sutton Gwaltney, Aiden, Nells, Seth, and Henry Erickson, Kavan Meckler, Ellie and Emmett Dowd, Brett, Elisha and Travis Houle, Mitchell and Austin Axelson; as well as several nieces, nephews and a dear friend, Annie Salsini.
Visitation will be held at Saints Peter and Paul Lutheran Church on Monday, October 9, 2017, from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. with funeral services to immediately follow. Pastor Aaron Gehrke will officiate. Burial will be at the Forest Hills Cemetery in Houghton. The O’Neill Dennis Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
Memorials in lieu of flowers, can be sent to Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, 527 Hancock St., Hancock, MI 49930 or a charity of your choice, in memory of Ruth.
The family would like to thank the caring staff of Portage Pointe, especially the Winona House staff, for the compassionate and loving care they provided to Ruth. She loved you all like family.