Ruth M. Searway

PORTLAND — Ruth McGowan Searway, 97, passed away peacefully Dec. 6, 2011, with her daughter by her side.

Ruth was born in Ashland on Sept. 5, 1914, a daughter of John Hopkins and Nellie Rafford McGowan. After graduation from Ashland High School, she lived and worked in Washington, D.C. and Manhattan. Ruth returned home for the summers to ride her beloved horse “Sam” all through the countryside and to lead the Fourth of July Parade.

On Oct. 7, 1937, she married her high school sweetheart Harry G. Searway. They moved to Portland in 1941.

Ruth worked for Porteous, Mitchell and Braun in their young juniors department for many years, retiring in 1975. After the death of her husband in 1978, she spent her time developing her natural artistic talent painting watercolors

A devoted mother, grandmother and great-grandmother she gave endless time, care and attention to her family. They all loved to be with “Gram.”

She was a communicant of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and a past member of the Eastern Star.

She was predeceased by her six siblings, six half siblings; a son at birth; her husband Harry; and a grandson.

She is survived by her daughter Gerry Dongo of Portland; three grandsons including Ken Dongo of Casco; seven great-grandchildren including Stephen Dongo of Casco; three great-great; and many special nieces and nephews.

A graveside service will be held in the spring. Arrangements are under the guidance of Independent Death Care. To offer words of condolence, sign a guest book and share memories, go to the obituary page at

In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Ruth’s memory to: The Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals, P.O. Box 10, South Windham, ME 04082-0010.

Please follow and like us: