Condolence & Memory Journal

Apart from the extended 'good-bye' to a loved one (literally 'God be with ye') aspect, I actually kind of like seeing obituaries of people in my life. Sure they're good to save in the family genealogy material. But they - certainly this one - remind me of the person: that they were really here, and therefor in many ways still are, for us. Their goodness is preserved! Some of us might learn a couple things we never knew about the person, and wish we had known, and that's fun. But their (her) creativity, good sport-tiness, good food, garden, care, patience with a depressed teenaged nephew, love of good things shared in life, wonderful good company in Bethany, Maine, even Alaska, and Exeter...all come through in the written summary. And best of all, some of it continues on through, to live on in those she knew. God be with her and those closest to her.

Posted by Harold Parker - Chugiak, AK - nephew   April 04, 2015

Remembering Dorothy, Part I

My memories of Dorothy go deep into my childhood. I was probably 9 or 10 years old when the Gardners, with Alice probably not even born yet, lived upstairs in the duplex my family shared with them in Seymour, Connecticut. It was a turbulent time for me; my father was very ill, and my mother doing her best to care for my father, my much older brother, and me. But JB became my own personal Mr. Wizard, and Dorothy, despite her own burgeoning family, seemed perfectly happy to have me underfoot. While I had boyhood friends and fun things to do in the Anderson part of the house, there was a reassuring comfort in being in the Gardner kitchen playing with the Hartley and Alice, and doing little jobs for Dorothy. She was always so pleased when I did what must certainly have been chores that I liked doing them.

It was in that kitchen that I first remember tasting home-made bread, and Dorothy sometimes made it on request. We three kids would then fuss over who got the warm crusty heels. When I learned about fermenting sugar, I asked Dorothy if we could make wine. She found a recipe, we picked wild grapes from vines on the newly purchased Bethany property, and we left three canning jars fermenting in the pantry. Ages later, Grandpa Dietrich pronounced one of them (only) quite good!

In the Bethany kitchen, Dorothy improved my cooking skills so that others might eat what I prepared. When I grew old enough to be the baby sitter, Dorothy and JB could leave the house for evening affairs knowing that Hartley and Alice would eat properly, or so they expected... But lemon meringue pie was always a joint effort because I failed the course on making pie crusts no matter how many times Dorothy showed me.


Posted by John Anderson - Woodside, CA - unofficial son   April 03, 2015

Remembering Dorothy, Part II

As a kid, I liked drawing and painting. I would sometimes accompany Dorothy down to the brook behind the Bethany house, and even once on a family vacation at Mount Katahdin, to paint beside her. As she painted, she would also give me hints, helping dispel my childish artistic notions. Dorothy painted so easily and well that even her rejects were good. Twenty years ago, she tossed a small watercolor bouquet into a wastebasket. JB retrieved it, wrote a note on it, and sent it to Bette and me. It is still on my office wall.

Dorothy sang a lot in those days. I'll always remember hearing her casually singing around the house, sometimes folk songs, sometimes choir music, and sometimes just scales. When I think back to those times, DD's singing and her smile that lit up the room come front and center in my memories. She still offered that smile a week before she died.

Some children are lucky to have a good Mom. I had two.

Posted by John Anderson - Woodside, CA - unofficial son   April 03, 2015

So sorry to hear about Dorothy. Just remembering all the good times at the glider field, and skiing at the cabin up in Vermont. Best wishes to JB, Alice, Hartley and the rest of the family....

Posted by Mike Opitz - Shelton, CT - Friend   April 03, 2015

I did not know Dorothy well, but was delighted to have lunch with her and J.B. last July in Salem, MA. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

Artemis Willis

Posted by artemis willis - weston, MA - indirectly through husband's fan   March 30, 2015

So sorry to hear about the passing of Aunt Dorothy. I have a lot of fond memories of visiting Dorothy & John's house when I was a child, playing with Muffy and going to see the horses, and of course eating Aunt Dorothy's wonderful food. My mom became an avid painter with her sister's encouragement. They're probably painting together somewhere now.

Wishing peace to John, Alice, Hartley and all the family.

with love, Tim Evans, Eileen Starr & Ethan Evans

Posted by Tim Evans - Bowling Green, KY - nephew   March 30, 2015