Doris “Dot” Y. Paiva of Mansfield died peacefully on November 8 in the home of her daughter, Joyce Collins, and son-in-law, Eric Whitman, in West Tisbury. She was 86.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1925, she moved with her mother Beatrice (Carnes) Yerbury and sisters Eleanor and Beatrice to Attleboro when she was three. She later moved to Mansfield where she lived with her beloved mother and stepfather Robert R. Walker. She remained a life-long resident.
She grew up working in the family gladiola fields in the Mansfield area. There she met her future husband, Henry B. Collins, with whom she shared three children. She graduated from Mansfield High School in 1943 and attended Burdett School of Business in Boston before marrying Henry in 1946. The marriage ended in 1971 and she later married Joseph Paiva, also of Mansfield, who sadly passed away August 4 of this year.
Dot had a love and respect for nature that began in the gladiola fields with her parents and continued to the end of her life. She could grow just about anything, from asparagus and tomatoes to huge blooming Christmas cactus and bleeding hearts. She enjoyed being outdoors and camping and for several years after his retirement, she and her husband Joe lived and worked at Webb’s Camping Area in Oak Bluffs for the summer season.
Music was also a life-long passion. In the 1960s she was a member of the Harmonettes Barbershop Chorus and Quartet, competing in international competitions across the United States and Canada and winning many top awards. She sang in the Mansfield Congregational Church choir for decades and was also a member of their bell choir. She played the piano, harp, banjo, and ukulele and appeared in many pops productions with Joe. She loved theater, big Broadway shows, and trips to New York with her daughters.
Dot was very active in the Mansfield community. She was one of the first Welcome Wagon representatives in Mansfield in the 1950s, delivering baskets to new residents in the town. She was also a Girl Scout leader, a co-founder of the Range Riders (a horse riding group that rode the trails of the Great Woods when they really were the Great Woods) and an active member of the Park Court Tenant Association.
She is survived by her loving sister and closest friend, Eleanor Spencer of Norwood, her three daughters — Carol Collins and partner, Janet Woodcock, of Vineyard Haven, Joyce Collins and her husband, Eric Whitman, of West Tisbury, Shirley Collins and her partner David Fukushima — and grandchildren Dashiel and Iris Fukushima of Vershire, Vermont, and dozens of nieces and nephews. Her stepchildren Donald Paiva and his wife, Pauline, Linda Kincaid, Merry Jones and her husband, Dana, William Paiva and his wife, Tracy, and their families also survive her. She was predeceased by her sister, Beatrice Casaubon, her granddaughter, Temple Halloran, and her husband of 38 years, Joseph Paiva.
Donations in her name can be made to local animal shelters.