PORT ALLEGANY - Mary Freda Griffith, 74, a longtime resident of Emporium, more recently residing in St. Marys and Port Allegany, died Saturday (Dec. 28, 2013) at the Lakeview Senior Care and Living Center in Smethport, following a long battle with cancer. Freda was surrounded by loved ones when she went to be with our Lord.
Born June 24, 1939, in Canton, N.Y., Freda was the daughter of the late Ernest and Helen Mae Howard. On April 18, 1959, she married Walter Earl McDowell, who preceded her in death on Sept. 11, 1965. Also preceding her were her three brothers, Robert, Eldred and William Howard; two sisters, Lettie Marie Howard and Jean Seahase; her eldest daughter, Lorraine Shirley McDowell; and two grandchildren, Kodiak and Brogan McDowell.
In the years following Wally's death, Freda met and later married a young serviceman who had just completed a tour of duty in the U.S. Navy. Freda's marriage to Dale Burton Griffith of Emporium lasted more than 20 years. Freda was a devoted mother to her children and loving grandmother and was passionate about nurturing their spiritual development. For many years, she also dedicated her life to teaching children enrolled in the Head Start program in Emporium until her retirement in 2001. She was an active member of the First Baptist Church of Emporium for many years and more recently of the First United Methodist Church of St. Marys.
She is survived by two daughters, Pamela (Rodney) Rees of Port Allegany and Susan (Isaac) Smith of St. Marys; three sons, the Rev. Daniel (Terri) McDowell of Olean, N.Y., Timothy (Katie) McDowell of Chino, Calif., and Lt. Col. John McDowell of March Air Force Base in California; and 18 grandchildren, Laura McDowell, Deborah McDowell, Sarah (Alfonse) Javed, Ryan Burns, Taylor (Kayla) Burns, Myles McDowell, Morgan McDowell, Leo McDowell-Chmelar, Kevin Rees, Eric Rees, Lisa (Shaun) Tyger, Nate (Jen) Rees, Kayla (Kyle) Nielsen, Anna Martin, Lindsay Howard, Katelyn Smith, Delana Smith and Addison Smith.
A visitation hour will be held at the First Baptist Church of Emporium, 424 N. Broad St., at 10 a.m. Saturday, followed by a memorial service at 11 a.m. The Rev. Dr. Alfonse Javed, pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church in New York City, will officiate the memorial service. Burial will take place in Newton Cemetery, Emporium.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the church of your choice or to the
, P.O. Box 67, Bradford, PA 16701.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Hartle-Tarbox Funeral Homes, Port Allegany.
Online condolence may be made at hartletarboxfuneralhomes.com