Cover photo for Dorothy Maria's Obituary
Dorothy Maria Profile Photo
1910 Dorothy 2011

Dorothy Maria

March 16, 1910 — December 29, 2011

Dorothy De Maria March 16, 1910a�"December 29, 2011 Dorothy De Maria, one of Woodland's treasures, passed away on December 29, 2011. She died from the complications of longevity. She was 101. Dorothy, born on March 16, 1910, was the eldest child of Dennis and Clora De Maria. Her mother, born in Capay, was the former Clora Giovannetti. Her father was a native of Naples, Italy. Dorothy was very proud of her Italian heritage. Soon after her father's arrival in New York, he joined the U.S. Navy. He was an excellent musician and became one of the navy's youngest bandmasters. While touring the Pacific with Teddy Roosevelt's White Fleet, he served as head bandmaster for the fleet. When his ship docked in Vallejo, he visited San Francisco's North Beach. It was there he met Clora who was working for an Italian family. After the 1906 earthquake, Clora returned to Capay to help with the family's produce business. Dennis and Clora married in 1909. Dennis, a shoemaker by trade, opened a shoe store located in the Hotel Woodland building. He specialized in custom made shoes but expanded his business to include a large inventory of manufactured shoes. The original floor tiles marking the entrance to his store, "DE MARIA BOOTERIE", were preserved and re-laid during the hotel's renovation. Dorothy attended the original Holy Rosary Academy for 12 years, graduating from high school in 1928. She studied piano and harp at the Academy giving many recitals in the school's auditorium. Dorothy's father recognized her talent and encouraged her to attend music school. Even though the depression created a family hardship, her father took her by train to audition at the New England Conservatory in Boston. She was accepted by the conservatory, one of the country's most prestigious music schools. Dorothy thrived in school where she developed life-long friendships. She completed a 4 year program in 3 years, graduating in 1932 with a major in piano and harp. Though she loved the East Coast, she returned to Woodland to help her family. Dorothy gave piano and harp lessons in her beloved family home at 703 College Street. She taught for 70 years, retiring at the age of 95. Over the course of her career, she taught many generations of Woodlanders. She loved her work and her students. For recreation, Dorothy attended every musical performance in the area. She loved Opera, the Sacramento and San Francisco Symphonies and the Sacramento Jazz Festival. She also traveled extensively with Hawaii being a favorite destination. Dorothy was a member of Holy Rosary Church where she spent some time as organist. She also played harp and piano in local music groups and for weddings. She was a driving force in bringing the Community Concert series to Woodland and Sacramento. Community Concerts were a national organization which sponsored famous artists through subscriptions, allowing them to tour. It was important to Dorothy that people be exposed to the arts. Dorothy was not only an outstanding musician, she was an outstanding person. She was a beautiful person who lived her life with grace, compassion and dignity. She possessed a quiet strength and resilience which allowed her to remain true to herself while being kind, loyal and generous to others. Her contagious energy and enthusiasm for life enabled her to form long-lasting friendships. Dorothy had a gentle but indomitable spirit which she shared with her many friends and family. Abraham Lincoln said, "Live a good life and in the end it is not the years in the life, it's the life in the years." Dorothy did it all. She lived a good, beautiful life and was blessed with many years in which to live them. Dorothy was preceded in death by her brother, Dennis De Maria, Jr., of Woodland, her sister Helen Hanna of San Francisco and her nephew, Stephen Hanna of San Francisco. She is survived by her nieces and nephews: Diane Mengali of Davis, Denise Lewis of Woodland, Kathleen Hanna of Petaluma, Anthony De Maria of Guinda and Christopher Hanna of Lake Tahoe. She loved her family and will be greatly missed by them. She leaves behind a legacy of joy, strength and love for all who knew and loved her. A Mass will be celebrated in her honor on Monday, January 9th at 11:00 A.M. at Holy Rosary Church on Walnut St. in Woodland. Burial will follow at St. Joseph's cemetery on West St. Following the burial, a reception will be held at Holy Rosary Parish hall next to the church on Walnut St. Wiscombe Funeral Chapel in Davis is handling the service. Donations in her name may be made to Yolo Hospice, P.O. Box 1014, Davis, CA 95617. Those who wish to sign a guestbook online may do so at

Previous Events

Mass of Christian Burial
Sunday, January 9, 2011
11:00 AM
Holy Rosary Church

Walnut Street
Woodland, CA

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