A Sacred Moment


Deanna Lea Dowdy Theiss

October 30, 1947 - August 13, 2018

Loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister

Deanna Theiss - memorial.jpg

Deanna Lea Dowdy Theiss, age 70, passed away peacefully on Monday, August 13, 2018 in Seattle, Washington.

Born on October 30, 1947 in Moscow, Idaho, Deanna was the first born to the late Harold and Vera (Johnson) Dowdy.  Deanna grew up in Kirkland, Washington, where she graduated from Lake Washington High School in 1966.  She then attended the University of Washington, where she graduated with honors in 1970 earning a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Nursing.

While attending the University of Washington, she met the love of her life, Duane Theiss.  Duane and Deanna were married on May 29, 1971 in Kirkland, Washington and established a home together in Mountlake Terrace, Washington where they raised three children.  Deanna was a loving, devoted mother and grandmother.  She encouraged her children to be disciplined and work hard as well as to pursue creative interests and enjoy life to its fullest.

Deanna’s great gift was caring for others.  She started her nursing career at Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle, where she worked for more than 20 years and became a nursing administrator.   She continued her nursing career for another ten years at Regional Hospital in Tukwila, where she worked as Director of Patient Care Services. She took great pride in caring for her patients, their families and her team members.

After retiring from her profession in 2004, Deanna played a critical role in the care of her parents Harold and Vera and her husband Duane, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2007.  She also joined the Stephen Ministry to support others in need. 

Deanna loved nature, especially anything to do with water.   She loved to visit the Oregon Coast and to go sailing on Lake Washington and Lake Union.   She also studied sustainable gardening and along with her husband Duane, she grew a magnificent garden in their backyard and donated time as a volunteer in the St. Mark’s Greenbelt.  Deanna enjoyed music, visual arts and sports.  She loved attending Seattle Mariners games and the Seattle Opera. And she loved dogs, especially her Bichon Frise Nico, her companion in her final years at home.

The biggest challenge of her life came in 2013 when Deanna was diagnosed with a meningioma.  After she had the tumor removed in early 2014, she worked hard at recovery, but it was an uphill battle.   Though transitioning from caregiver to patient was not easy, she had a strong support network made up of family, devoted friends and her faithful church community.  For the last two and a half years of her life, she was also cared for and comforted by the dedicated staff at Aegis of Queen Anne on Galer.

Deanna is survived by her sons Michael Theiss and wife Janice Khalilah Parker, Bryan Theiss and wife Jen Koogler, daughter Krista Thrift, wife Jessica and grandsons Levi Overcast, Otto and Memphis Thrift, sister Laurie Jill Stone and husband Terry, and brother John Dowdy.  She was preceded in death by her husband Duane, her parents Harold and Vera and brother Robert Dowdy.



A memorial service to celebrate Deanna’s life will be held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle on September 15, 2018 at 3 PM.

See the map below.


In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you consider a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association, a cause which was important to Deanna: www.alz.org







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