Laura Ann Cranston Dow (Ann) was born July 10, 1935, in Ness City, Kan., during the great Dust Bowl era.
“As a little girl, I spent lots of time with my grandparents on the farm. They took me to church socials, Grange dances, riding on the tractor, riding my pony Bill — he lived to be 25 years old and Grandma Emma cooked oatmeal for him so he could eat with no teeth!”
She helped her “Daddy” and Grandpa George drive cattle from the farm to the Ness City rail yards. Grandpa would always have a quarter or 50 cent piece he would slip her. “We were great buddies and me so very spoiled.”
As she got older The War broke out; she helped her family rolling bandages for the Red Cross, supporting Savings Bond drives in town, rationing sugar and gasoline. She played clarinet and piano, sang in the chorus, taught Sunday school, and loved being in plays and doing public readings.
She graduated High School in 1953 and moved to Nevada, Mo., where she met Richard (Dick) Dow, who was attending Wentworth Military College. “He was an honor graduate and such a wonderful person.” They were married Aug. 14, 1954. Dick was sworn into the Army Infantry and off they went to see the world. Together they would live in Georgia, Washington, Germany, Texas, and Oregon. During these moves they had their “three little ones,” Nancy, Jim, and Susie.
After moving to Bothell, Wash., in September 1971, Dick passed away unexpectedly. “Those years are hard for me to write much about. My three children, Nancy, Jim and Susie, were my guiding lights and all did so well. I am so very proud of all three.” Grandma Hazel (Nama) moved back from Kansas to help out. “She was such a valuable and loved part of our life.”
Ann would later move to Hood River, Ore., where she was the neighborhood gathering spot for her grandchildren and their friends; everyone referred to her as "Grandma Ann." She always had a snack in her sweet drawer, bacon for breakfast, and beautiful flowering peonies in the summer. Ann singlehandedly helped local businesses stay afloat with her devotion to various bakeries, clothing and shoe stores and of course, Dickeys Farms. Ann was an avid gardener, gifted with a green thumb, and she was a life-long member of the PTO sisterhood and volunteered at Providence hospital for many years.
Ann passed away on July 8, 2022. She leaves behind three children, six grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren.
“My three dearest kids Nancy, Jim, and Susie have been the occasion of great joy to me over the years. They are very special and gifted kids as are my grandkids and I am so very proud of each of you! I am sure all the relatives that have gone on before are just as proud of all of you as I am. Take care dear ones.” — Grandma Ann and Pesky Pets
A memorial will be held at Mt. Hood Winery on Thursday, Oct. 6 from 5-7 p.m., if you would like to pay condolences