Diana Dowell Memos Bettendorf, Iowa Died on Thursday, February 6th, 2014
10 - 11 AM Saturday, March 1st, 2014 Weerts Funeral Home
11 AM Saturday, March 1st, 2014 Weerts Funeral Home
Diana Dowell Memos, 85, of Bettendorf, Iowa and formerly of Erie, Illinois, died Thursday, February 6, 2014, at the Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House in Bettendorf, after a lengthy illness at the University of Iowa Hospitals and a more recent, brief illness at Genesis Medical Center West, Davenport. Services will be in the chapel at Weerts Funeral Home, 3625 Jersey Ridge Road, Davenport, on Saturday, March 1, 2014, at 11:00 a.m., following the visitation, also there, at 10:00 a.m. Inurnment services will be held at a later date at Lakeside Cemetery in Pekin, Illinois, for Diana and her late daughter Katherine Diana Latham, where they will be laid to rest by her late mother, Dorothy Balcke Dowell of East Peoria, Illinois, and other Balcke family relatives.
Born November 3, 1928, in Pekin to Mrs. Dowell and the late Nobel Yates Dowell, Diana was reared in nearby East Peoria. In 1950, she graduated with an A.B. degree in English from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, which she attended on an academic scholarship and where she was a sorority sister in Delta Delta Delta. Later in life, she obtained a master's degree in education from Western Illinois University.
Diana taught English literature for twenty-seven years at Erie High School, delighting in collaborating with department colleagues and friends William C. Ludwig and the late Anne M. Alepra. A published poet herself, Diana encouraged her students to keep journals for their own writing, and she was adviser on the school's yearbook, newspaper, and literary magazine.
Diana was married in 1951 to R. A. Latham, D.V.M and in 1980 to Ernest C. Memos, the longtime host of "Captain Ernie's Showboat" and other Quad Cities area radio and television shows, who survives her. Diana enjoyed memberships in the Erie United Methodist Church and then, with Dr. Latham, the Erie Christian Church, and later, with Mr. Memos, St. George Greek Orthodox Church, where she served in its Ladies Philoptochos Society (Friends of the Poor).
While rearing her and Dr. Latham's daughter Katherine and sons Benjamin Walter of Tallahassee, Florida, Timothy John of Spring, Texas, and Robert Allen III of Los Angeles, California, Diana served as the Erie Public Library Board president, when after six years of fundraising with the late Solomon Shaheen of Erie, the late F. Gordon Bleitz of Fenton, Illinois, and Dr. Latham, the Board dedicated the library's original wing. Diana was a Cub Scout den mother, in the Erie Lioness Club, and the national director of public relations for the American Veterinary Medical Association Auxiliary, when she authored "I Like Children . . . But," a canine safety pamphlet for children of veterinary clinic clients.
Diana was a member of the Morrison, Illinois Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and later of the Hannah Caldwell Chapter in Davenport, Iowa; and with the late Mary E. Miller of Erie, the late Virginia S. Rastede of Morrison, and the late Verna M. Flynn of Sterling, Illinois, she co-founded the Sinissippi Chapter of the Children of the American Revolution, for their and other children, whose ancestors fought in the American Revolution.
Diana was surrounded in her passing by her husband; her three sons; Timothy's wife Sue Ellen Houston Latham; Robert's partner John Sterling McLouth; her late husband's widow LaVonne Hilmer Latham of Erie; and her husband's daughters Angela M. Ratter of Clermont, Florida and Laura M. Lippert of High Springs, Florida. Diana is also survived by son Benjamin's children Rebecca Elizabeth Latham and Thomas Daniel Latham; Timothy's children Timothy John Latham II and Sarah Houston Latham; cousins Sarah Balcke Monge of Pekin and Carolyn B. Norton of Tampa, Florida; cousin Charles M. Stark and his wife Mary Lou Stark of Wichita, Kansas; niece Deborah D. Dowell of Tampa; nephews William Andrew Balcke Dowell and his wife Sandra Johnson Dowell of Birmingham, Alabama, Daniel Edward Dowell and his wife Michelle A. Dowell of Tampa, and Jeremy Denton Dowell and his wife Haylei C. Dowell of Tampa; half-brother Nobel Yates Dowell Jr. of Mt. Vernon, Illinois; and her beloved rescue Maltese mix, Mandy.
Besides her parents and daughter, predeceasing Diana are her sister-in-law and younger brother Barbara B. Dowell and Maj. William Balcke Denton Dowell of Tampa; her aunt and uncle Lois B. and Edgar Woolfolk Norton of suburban St. Louis; her aunt and uncle Helen Lohnes Balcke Bolin and Louis Andrew Balcke, M.D. of Pekin; and her maternal grandparents Dora Denton Balcke and William Andrew Balcke, M.D. of Pekin.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are invited to the John Austin Cheley Foundation, which brings underprivileged children to the Cheley Colorado Camps of Estes Park, where in the 1940s Diana was a camper and has been a sustaining member since (http://www.cheleyfoundation.org or First Bank, P.O. Box 151663, Lakewood, Colorado 80215-8663); to the William C. Ludwig Scholarship, for outstanding college-bound, Erie High School seniors (The Erie Education Foundation, 435 6th Avenue, Erie, Illinois 61250, earmarked for the scholarship); or to Washington University in St. Louis (https://gifts.wustl.edu).
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Weerts Funeral Home - 3625 Jersey Ridge Road, Davenport, Iowa 52807 tel. 563.355.4433