Dowker, Ernest

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Ernest James Dowker, Jr. passed away April 28, 2018 at Woodland Acres, his home for the last 22 months.

Ernest was born June 19, 1926 on the Koronka farm in Gaylord to Ernest Sr. and Violet (Koronka) Dowker.  He grew up in Gaylord, the eldest of 9 children.  He attended St. Mary’s School until the 10th grade and dropped out to join the United States Navy.  He served from 1944-1946 during World War II. He married Maxine Love on February 15, 1947 and together they raised 7 children and were married 58 years.

Ernie’s dad started Dowker Packing on Mitchell Street in Gaylord in the early 1930’s.  Ernie went to work for his dad after his discharge from the Navy and became a master butcher.  He remained at Dowker Packing until the plant burned down. He then went to work at Circle M Ranch in Wolverine until he retired.  Ernie was like his dad, enjoying life and good times and like his mother, enjoying people.  His biological family and Woodland Acres family will all miss his smile and his wink.

Ernie is survived by 5 children—Leslie (Florence), Brian (Jennifer), Darrell (Linda), Delton (Sherri), Connie (Victor) Ouelette; his sisters, Louise (Richard) Hopkins, Joan (Steve) King, Janet Weber, Laura Kreger and brothers, Herbert (Kay) Dowker and James Dowker; grandchildren, great grandchildren, great- great grandchildren and nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Maxine, daughter Deva and son Terry, siblings Virginia and Richard and grandson, Christopher Dowker.

Per his wishes cremation has taken place and the family will remember him privately.

Memorial contributions in his honor can be made to Hospice of Michigan, Gaylord Branch, 830 S. Otsego Avenue, Gaylord, MI 49735.

Arrangements were entrusted to Nelson Funeral Home and Cremation Service, P.O. Box 1548, Gaylord, MI 49734.

7 comments on “Dowker, Ernest”

  1. Keith & Chrissy Wells

    Seems like I’ve known you all my life. Best friends with Deva, at your home all through school. Saturday mornings waking up to you singing in the kitchen while you were making something in a big pot! Doing your little shuffle dance as you listened to your polka music.. always calling me Chrissy! Such wonderful memories of a kind and wonderful person! Rest in God’s arms and please give Deva a hug from me! I’ll see you again someday!

  2. Mitchell Dowker

    Grandpa, I will always remember the special times shared with you especially the Christmas parties at your home. You made everyone so verry happy. You are the best grandpa anyone could ever have and I am so proud to be your grandson. Please tell Uncle Terry and Aunt Margie I said hello and give Grandma and Aunt Diva lots of hugs and kisses. (I know you will.) RIP Grandpa, I love you. Mitch

  3. Thoughts and Prayers to the entire Family. Grandpa was a sweet man and will be missed dearly. Grandpa you certainly always was making everyone laugh.
    Great Memories. I know you are in good hands of our Heavenly Father! God Bless! Give Grandma, Dad, Mom, and Jamie a hug for me. Love you!

  4. Sandy messerschmidt

    I was deeply saddened by the loss of Earnie. My name is Sandy, my dad was Bill Hodgins, he worked for years at Dowker’s. He was a sweet man and I recall him always teasing me when I would go into Dowker’s to say hi to my dad. They also enjoyed hunting together. My best to the family. I am sure most of his sisters and brothers will remember my dad, mom, and me. BLESS YOU ALL, SANDY MESSERSCHMIDT. (MAIDEN NAME SANDY HODGINS)

  5. Ernie came into our family’s life when my father moved us to Bay Shore, MI. in 1970.

    My father bought the small store in Bay Shore. We had a walk-in cooler, a big butcher block, lots of knives… but no butcher. He taught me how to butcher. What a wonderful person with a smile & always kind words.

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