Dorothy Newton died on Jan. 17, 2017. She was born on May 4, 1921, in the Hebrides of Scotland, and raised by her mother, Lily Jessop Wilson, and her grandfather, Henry J. Wilson, in Merseyside, England.
Dorothy’s grandfather was a contractor and also owned a large hardware store. Dorothy would tell stories about how as a young girl, she would help out in the store and go out to sell soap house to house, and collect rents.
Her grandfather, whom she loved so much, had property on a river in Chester. As a young girl, Dorothy would ride her bicycle to Chester — 40 miles, she used to say — with her little schipperke dog in a knapsack!
She was proud to have belonged to the Girl Guides (the U.K. equivalent of our Girl Scouts). She recounted stories of being strafed during World War II, and as a young woman she held a civilian support position at an RAF air base. Shortly after the war, she moved to the States.
I first met Dorothy in New York State in 1966 through a mutual friend. I had an AKC German shepherd bitch that I wanted to breed, and Dorothy was a breeder, trainer, and judge who had a kennel with imported bloodlines from Germany.
And the rest, as they say, is history. Though I moved back to Massachusetts in 1968, Dorothy and I stayed in touch, and three years later, we were married. Through the years, Dorothy worked as a librarian in three Massachusetts prisons, starting with the women’s prison in Framingham; she was later recruited to organize the general and law libraries at MCI Concord, and recruited once again to literally build — that is, acquire all furnishings, books, etc. — the new library for the medium-security prison at MCI Shirley. Her inmate clerks, mostly lifers, politely named her “Maggie” after Margaret Thatcher, who was also known as the “Iron Lady.” Dorothy served the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in this role for 22 years, during which time she attained her master’s in library science, which enabled her to better apply for federal grant money for her libraries.
Dorothy was also a licensed real estate broker in Massachusetts, and along with our full-time jobs, we worked many years together for a family trust, marketing properties on Martha’s Vineyard, St. Croix, and Las Cruces, N.M. We were a great team ,and our efforts allowed us to bring our dream of a home on the Vineyard and a home in Florida to fruition in December 1995.
Dorothy loved to ballroom dance, and whenever we were asked how long we had been dancing, I would always reply that Dorothy was born dancing! We received many blessings in our life together, and one of the greatest blessings has been the wonderful friends we have made through church, our Masonic and Shriner connections, and especially through dancing. Everyone loved Dorothy, and she would always grace them with her beautiful smile, a smile we will never forget!
Dorothy leaves behind her husband Tom, married for 46 years this year; her beautiful daughter, Christine (Scott); three loving granddaughters, Wendy, Robin, and Jenifer; and a handsome great-grandson, Brady.
She is sorely missed, and will be always loved. We know she is starting a new life and dancing with our Lord. God bless you, my Dorothy Elizabeth, I love you.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: Shriners Hospital for Children,12502 USF Pine Drive Tampa, FL 33612-9411, and St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 623 SE Ocean Blvd., Stuart, FL 34994.