Shirley Camille McDowell, 84, passed away after a long battle with Alzheimer’s on October 29, 2018 in Olympia, Washington. She was born May 16, 1934 to George John McGee and Maxine Evelyn (Newcomb) McGee from Irish decent in Aberdeen, Washington. Shirley spent the majority of her life in Aberdeen and the past 10 years in Olympia.
Shirley, in her younger years, was an avid gardener and loved to embroider and crochet. Many of her family were the recipients of the afghans that she crocheted. She also tried her hand at oil painting in her earlier years. In her middle years, she spent many hours collecting antiques from Roseville pottery to Fenton glassware, Joseph Figurines and old toys. In her later years, she loved spending her days working on jig saw puzzles until she could no longer do them due to her advanced Alzheimer’s disease.
Shirley was the youngest and last living of five siblings, Donald Anderson, William Anderson, Betty Jo Anderson Hartung, and Sharon McGee Jasper. Shirley spent her early years in Catholic schools and then graduated from Weatherwax High School in Aberdeen.
She married Robert Wade Dill (deceased) on December 6, 1952 in Aberdeen, Washington. They had two children, Susan Marie Dill Anderson and Terri Lee Dill Johnson. Shirley supported her small family during those years by working in the banking and retail clerk industry.
On April 19, 1963, Shirley married Arthur (Frank) Strozyk (deceased) in Raymond, Washington. They lived in the Aberdeen area. On June 1, 1965, Shirley and Frank had a child delivered stillborn. Frank’s son from a prior marriage, Robert Arthur Strozyk, in 1965, at age three, came to live with Shirley and Frank. Shirley raised him as her own son. Robert passed away in 1982 in a rock-climbing accident.
The spring of 1974 Shirley met Gerald “Jerry” Edward Cearley (deceased). Jerry and Shirley lived together in Aberdeen and Packwood, Washington for a time, and traveled around with his job as a crane operator in the Washington, and Oregon Coast areas, rebuilding jetties. Shirley and Jerry were later married on April 15, 1980 in Reno, Nevada. Shirley raised two of Jerry’s three children as her own, Tamila Gay Cearley Sutherby and Craig Cearley.
Shirley met William Douglas McDowell (deceased) in 1990 while she was working as a grocery clerk in Central Park, Washington. The two were married on June 2, 1990 in Montesano, Washington. Stepchildren, John McDowell and Linda McDowell Logan were a close part of their lives.
Shirley is survived by multiple grandchildren and great grandchildren who gave her great joy in her life.
A Celebration of Life and pot luck luncheon will be held in her honor on Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. at the home of Marvin and Terri Johnson, 8020 Chestnut Hill Drive SE, Olympia, WA 98513. Shirley will be interred at the Wynoochee Cemetery in Montesano, Washington.
In lieu of flowers, the family has suggested donations to any Alzheimer’s fund would be appropriate.