DUBUQUE, Iowa – Gilda Dawn Samuels died Wednesday, July 31, 2013, the day after the 47th anniversary of her wedding to Joel L. Samuels. She was born in Fort Fairfield, daughter of the late Cecil and Aletha (Moore) Emery.
She graduated from Fort Fairfield High School in 1957. She was a quiet and studious farm girl who graduated from Houghton College, Houghton, N.Y., in 1961. Trained as a medical technologist in Quincy, Mass., she served in the Peace Corps during 1964 and 1965 in what is now Malaysia. After marriage in 1966, she worked as a medical technologist in Highland Park, Ill., and became the mother of three daughters – Rosanne, Valerie and Melissa. After moving to Dubuque, Iowa in 1989, she resumed her work as a medical technologist at Jackson County Hospital, Maquoketa, Iowa for 10 years. She earned another degree from the University of Dubuque in 2000, majoring in Spanish, and assisted a number of Mexican friends in learning English. She made seven one-week mission trips to Mexico to assist Presbyterian churches there. During a period of five years, she translated a weekly devotional written by Pastor Ramon Celis Gamboa from Spanish into English, even during the early months of her seven-month illness with cancer. She was a member of Daughters of the American Revolution, and served as registrar of the local chapter.
Gilda leaves a rich legacy for her husband and daughters as well as for Valerie’s son, Joel Micah; and Rosanne’s daughter, Mirah Dawn. She is also survived by sister, Karen Estey of Belfast; and cousins, brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews.
A wake is scheduled 3-7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, at Hoffman-Schneider Funeral Home, Dubuque, Iowa. A service of remembrance will be held 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, at First Presbyterian Church, Dubuque, Iowa. In lieu of flowers, Gilda requested that memorials be sent to First Presbyterian Church, Dubuque, Iowa. 563-582-4494; or Hospice of Dubuque 563-582-1220.