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Edith “Edie” Doughtery Rowan

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Edith “Edie” Doughtery Rowan passed peacefully Wednesday, April 27, at her home in Whittier. A native of Philadelphia, PA, she and her husband Patrick moved to WNC in 1981 to be closer to their daughter’s family.

Edie’s career was as a medical records technician, but her great loves, aside from her family and friends, were music and theatre. After settling in Whittier, she became active in the Smoky Mountain Community Theatre, and auditioned for the group’s first ever musical, “Hello, Dolly”. Since she had seen every production of it that played in or near Philadelphia, she already knew the lines and songs by memory. Her fine singing voice and commanding stage presence made her a natural choice for the part of Dolly Levi, the show’s leading lady. Those who saw the production forever afterward called her “Dolly” when they happened to meet her. Even at her 98th birthday party she sang some of the songs from the play.

In addition to the theatre group, she was an active member of St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church in Cherokee, NC, where her ashes were interred in the memorial garden . She served as president of the Episcopal Church Women, representing the church at regional conventions a number of times. She also served on the Vestry, and was active in the  music program.

In addition to her husband, Edie was predeceased by her parents Frank and May Doughtery, her sister Alice Wassong, her son in law Peter Lawson, and her granddaughter Marie Lawson Hughes Gaudet. Those who survive her include her daughter, Meredyth Lawson, her grandson, Charles Lawson and wife Michelle, her granddaughter, Mary Southards, and Denise Curlee, a very special Goddaughter to whom Edie was very devoted. A great grandson, Arron Hughes, a great granddaughter, Amber Rogers, two great-great grandchildren, and a number of nieces and nephews also survive, as do several close and devoted friends. Other survivors include four half-siblings Robert Doughtery, Francis Doughtery, Gloria Tobin, and Marie Clarke.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. PO Box 50, Memphis, TN 38101-9929; Smile Train, PO Box 96231, Washington, DC 20090-6231, or the charity of your choice. A party to celebrate Edie’s life will be held this summer with food, music, and dancing.

Smoky Mountain Times

Mailing Address:
PO Box 730
1 River Street
Bryson City, NC 28713 
Phone: 828-488-2189
Fax: 828-488-0315