Cover photo for Emily McDowell's Obituary
1936 Emily 2023

Emily McDowell

October 10, 1936 — March 1, 2023

Dilworth, MN and Hawley, MN

It is with deep sorrow and much love we mourn the passing of Emily McDowell on March 1st 2023 while under hospice care at Trillium in Bemidji, MN. Emily will be honored in a celebration of life this summer at Dilworth Lutheran Church, Dilworth, MN. Memorial donations may be made in her honor through contributions to the parent project muscular for research. Arrangements are with Carlin Family Funeral Service of Fosston and messages of condolence may be shared at

Emily Norma (Winjum) McDowell, daughter of Norman and Esther (Engebretson) Winjum was born October 10, 1936 in Hitterdal, MN. She grew up in Dilworth, MN where she graduated from high school. After graduation she worked for Blue Cross Blue Shield. Emily married Earl McDowell in 1957 and in 1969 they moved to their farm in Hawley. She was active in the Lutheran church, a leader in 4H, and member of her homemaker’s club. At the age of 67, Emily retired from the Social Services Department in Moorhead, MN. 

Emily loved her kids and grandkids and was an active part of their lives. She enjoyed watching Vikings’ games with her grandson Jacob. She never missed an opportunity to be involved in her grandchildren’s lives attending school and sporting events, graduations, religious ceremonies, recitals and other gatherings.  Most recently, Emily’s greatest joy was spending time with her first great grandchild, Hank. Emily was always cooking, sharing recipes, playing cards, dancing, gardening, sewing, golfing and spending time with family and friends. She was known for her great hamburger hotdish and canned tomatoes. There are fond memories of a month- long trip to Europe with her son Terry after his college graduation and trips to Norway. She also enjoyed time at her cabin on Toad Lake, and spending winters in Arizona. 

Special thanks to Emily’s friend Kathleen for all her kind support. The family is also very grateful for the loving and compassionate care by the caregivers at Trillium Assisted Living Center.

Emily is survived by her daughter, Cheri (John) Gunvalson of Gonvick, MN; son, Terry (Joyce) McDowell of Cincinnati, OH; grandchildren, Ben (Kourtni), Jacob and Kelsey Gunvalson; Matthew, Molly and Maggie McDowell; great-grandson, Hank Gunvalson; as well as sisters, Carol Ellsworth, Janice Olsby, and Sandra (Brad) Hemerick; brother Herman (Rennae) Weiss; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Emily is preceded in death by her parents; step father, Herman Weiss; sister, Kathy Evans; brother, Richard Weiss; nephew, Kristopher Weiss; former husband, Earl McDowell; daughter-in-law, Sharon Sidovar-McDowell and brothers-in-law.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Emily McDowell, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Upcoming Services

Family will greet friends

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

1:00 - 2:00pm (Central time)

Dilworth Lutheran Church

406 3rd St NE, Dilworth, MN 56529

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, July 19, 2003

Starts at 2:00pm (Central time)

Dilworth Lutheran Church

406 3rd St NE, Dilworth, MN 56529

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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