DOROTHY JULIA ROEDER MORRISSEY was born in the Riverdale section of The Bronx, New York, to Ethel Lytle and George Roeder, at their home, on January 29, 1935. She was the youngest of six daughters and was the lone survivor of the “Roeder Girls.” She went to be with her Lord on March 14th, 2020.
Dorothy attended PS# 81, in The Bronx, until she contracted Rheumatic Fever, at which time she was home schooled until she was able to return to public school several years later. She attended Walton High School in The Bronx where she graduated. She then graduated from Woods Secretarial School, in Manhattan. Upon graduation she began her business career by working for Otis Elevator Co. and then Muzak Corporation, in Manhattan. She became a secretary at IBM in their White Plains facility in Westchester County.
In 1959 she married Richard (Dick) Morrissey and they settled in Yonkers, New York. She continued to work for IBM and Dick worked as an engineer for the County of Westchester, both in White Plains.
In 1962, Dorothy and Dick moved to San Jose, California, where Dorothy continued to work for IBM, at their San Jose Campus. By the end of the 1960's they had 3 children, Debra Lillian, Diane Cheryl, and Richard John III and Dorothy was a stay at home mom.
In 1973, Dorothy and Dick moved to Davis, California. Dorothy attended Sacramento City College in the early 1980’s. She then began taking a series of fine arts classes and seminars. From this exposure to the creative world, she developed an interest in the making of porcelain dolls. She became known throughout the area as a fine craftsperson and resource on the subject. In the mid 1980’s, she turned this hobby into a business by entering into a partnership, then becoming a sole proprietor in the Dollmakers, a shop in Woodland, California. She made and sold dolls and taught others the art of making dolls. She was interviewed and demonstrated her art, on Sacramento’s “Good Day Sacramento” television program and demonstrated her art. “DOLLS BY DOROTHY” were marketed and exhibited at Doll Shows and Craft Shows throughout Northern California.
Soon after Dick retired from the active work force in 1996, Dorothy closed her shop. She and Dick became “cruisers” by traveling on as many as fifteen cruises to various parts of the world. She did continue to exhibit and sell her dolls and supplies at area doll and craft shows, and she proudly showed off her “babies,” her doll collection, in her home.
She was an avid reader, enjoying the story telling of Francine Rivers, the adventure stories of Alistair MacLean, and the mysteries of Catherine Coulter and Mary Higgins Clark. She was a skilled jigsaw puzzler and always had a puzzle “going” on the dining room table. Dorothy enjoyed “Game Night” with her family each Saturday.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Dick, of 58 years who passed in 2017. She is survived by their three children; Debra Ariola and her husband, Dan, of Davis; Diane Gonzalez and her husband Miguel, of Woodland; and Richard John of Davis. Dorothy is also survived by their grandchildren, John and Joseph Ariola; Ann Gonzalez Crew; David Gonzalez; their great grandson Christopher Crew and great grand daughters Jayden Gonzalez, Annabelle Crew, Oriah Crew, and Taylor Gonzalez.
Dorothy was a Paul Harris Fellow and Benefactor in the Rotary Foundation believing strongly in all the good Rotary does in the community and throughout the world.
A graveside service will be held at the Davis Cemetery, on Wednesday, March 25 at 2PM.