Martha Anne Dow's daughter Julie's Memories
Life celebration services
Oct. 6 & 13, 2007
As one of Martha Anne's children, I learned to love animals, bugs, fossils, frogs, flowers, books, people and many other creatures. Some of my fondest childhood memories revolve around family field trips to collect big green grasshoppers, Montana wild flowers, tadpoles, and even trilobite fossils. She would put all these specimens into organized collections to decorate her classrooms and laboratories when she taught classes at Northern Montana College. I always felt like I was part of her world at the college. Every Sunday afternoon when we were in grade school mom would load us into her yellow station wagon and we would head to her biology lab to help her set up for her lab class on Monday. My very first job, at the tender age of 9, was washing test tubes for a 5 cents a piece. We kids loved to write on the big classroom chalkboard and spent hours playing school. I wanted to be a teacher just like my mom. Our world revolved around my mom's love of science and the joy she experienced at sharing this love with everyone who had the good fortune to cross her path.
My Mom's family included, not only her husband and 3 children, but, also living creatures of many different species. We never knew what mom was going to bring home from the college. Not only did we live with typical pets, cats a dog or two, but also chineese rats, little white mice, bunnies, turtles, frogs, fish and at one time even sea horses. Our family loved these creatures even though our friends and especially our friends' parents made comments about our "Dr. Doo Little Life Style." I loved the fact that mom was a Dr. Doo Little. She introduced me to an exciting world in which I thought I might like to become a zoologist or possibly a veteranarian some day.
My mom also loved the teeny tiny creatures. They lived in the refrigerator at our house in test tubes and petri dishes. I remember a particular time when a babysitter pulled a petri dish out of the refrigerator looking somewhat mystified and maybe a little horrifed as well. I was happy to explain to her that the little red and green specs in the dish were my mom's teeny tiny bugs that were eating a special jello. They were very important to my mom; so, she had better not try to eat them or throw them away! One of my mom's passions was microbiology. I had the privilege to attend college with her at the University of Hawaii. We were students together; she was working on her PHD in Microbiology and I my Bachelor's in Dental Hygiene. Our time together as a family in Hawaii is at the top of the list for the highlights of my life. I realize now that when she took our family to Hawaii it took an incredible amount of courage. Not every mom and wife just decides one day to go after a Phd in microbiology and packs up her 2 daughters and a friend of one of the daughter's, tells her husband to take care of himself and her son, that he can visit when he is done plowing and planting the spring wheat and her son is out of school for Christmas break. It's a good thing that this husband, my incredibly supportive and loving dad, understood and loved my mom enough to allow her to spread her wings and fly. Nothing was impossible and nothing would stand in Mom's way once she accepted the scholarship from the University of Hawaii's East/West Center. The adventure to Hawaii, after all, was just another one of mom's exciting family field trips. However, this field trip involved a lot more hard work. Mom spent hours in the lab at the UH growing her precious Isignoma shell fish out which she was able to culture and study the hepatitis virus. I observed her tenacity for studying, hard work and dedication. Thinking of mom spending 14 hours a day in her lab made me feel real guilty when I'ld cut class and head to the beach to watch surfing contests. She was an incredible role model. Without her good example I could very easily have ended up a beach bum.
My mom was President of Oregon Tech, yet to me she was mom. To my children she was a grandmother that they called Nana. Yes, I am incredibly proud of all of her accomplishments, including the new Health Center. After spending time in Klamath Falls during the dedication of the Health Center and hearing about all the other marvelous things that she has done over the past 15 years not only for Oregon Tech but for the Klamath community as well, I feel truly overwhelmed and a little amazed that I am even related to this woman. I wish that she would have told me about all the amazing things that she has done. Isn't that just like her, though? Always humble and always gracious. If only I could do a fraction of the good that she has done for so many people. It saddens me to know that so many will miss her. I can't imagine, though, that anyone could miss her more than I, because, she was my mom.
All my love to you, Mom