Erla J. (Dowling) Thomas-Sawdey
October 19, 1924 - September 17, 2017
Erla JoAnn (Dowling) Thomas-Sawdey, 92, of Grayling, MI, formerly of Morenci, died Sunday, September 17, 2017, at Meadow Brook Medical Care Facility in Bellaire, MI. She was born October 19, 1924, in Hudson, to the late John and Naomi (Wetherbee) Dowling.
Erla lived her early life in the Clayton area and graduated from the former Clayton High School in 1942. She married Elmer Thomas on August 2, 1945, and they settled in Morenci where they raised their three children. Predominately a homemaker, Erla was very supportive and involved in the many activities of the family. She worked for several years outside the home as a librarian at the Clayton Library and enjoyed the social exposure with the local patrons.
Elmer died suddenly of a heart attack on October 9, 1966, a devastating loss for the family that left Erla widowed at the young age of 41. She later married Daniel Sawdey of Addison on July 3, 1973. They resided in Morenci for many years, and eventually moved to Devils Lake. They enjoyed wintering in Cudjoe Key, FL until his death in November of 2000.
In recent years, Erla resided in Grayling, MI, closer to two of her children, and she loved the ample wildlife that the north country had to offer, including deer and turkeys. In addition to her appreciation for the outdoors, she enjoyed people, and loved most to be in the company of her beloved family, especially her grandchildren. She loved life, was up for almost any occasion, and loved the Lord.
Erla will be sorely missed by her loving family, including her three children, Connie J. (Steve) Swander of Frederic, MI, John R. (Sue) Thomas of Manitou Beach, MI, and Tom L. (Kathy) Thomas of Bellaire; thirteen grandchildren; and fifteen great-grandchildren. In addition to her parents and husbands, she was preceded in death by all of her siblings, Wanda Hutchison, John Dowling, Clifton Dowling, Ellamary Deline, Jeannette Lockwood, Jacqueline Shepherd, Rosalyn Dowling, and Lyman Dowling.
A graveside service for Erla will begin at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 20, 2017, at Oak Grove Cemetery in Morenci. Local arrangements were entrusted to the Eagle Funeral Home in Morenci.
Graveside Service: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 2:00 PMOak Grove Cemetery - MorenciGet Directions