Dorothy May Dickenson, 91, passed away of age-related causes with her family by her side on August 10, 2018, at Bayside Terrace Assisted Living Center in Coos Bay, Oregon. She was born on June 26, 1927, to James William (Bill) and Nellie Mathilda Maynard (Hawkins) in Toledo, Oregon. After her marriage to Lee Walter Dickenson on April 21, 1945, and their living in Toledo for 10 years, she and Lee relocated to Monmouth, then to Grants Pass, and in 1983 built a home and retired in Charleston, Oregon.
The oldest of five daughters (Mary Johnson, Dona Miller, Marlene Quick, Karen Maynard), Dorothy graduated from Toledo High School in 1945.Throughout high school, she was a top student and a reporter for her school newspaper and yearbook. She was also very active in her church and community events. After the Pearl Harbor attack by Japan, at only 15, she became a spotter for Japanese aircraft approaching the Oregon Coast working from a county seat tower in Toledo, as the U.S. feared a Pacific Coast attack. As a senior, many of her male classmates had left school to join the military or were doing so right after graduation.
During her senior year and following graduation, Dorothy worked at Toledo Trust and Title Company. Later she worked at her parents’ restaurant in the Toledo Hotel before the birth of her children, LeAnne in 1949 and Steve in 1952. For decades she was the secretary and bookkeeper for Lee Dickenson & Son Logging Company, later Lee Dickenson, Inc.
Dorothy’s passions were her family and friends, her faith, angels, composing poetry, reading and writing, word play, good humor, and baking and candy making. In every community she was a key member, often an officer, of her churches’ women’s service and outreach groups. Dorothy always belonged to angel support groups of caring and strong
women. She never missed her children’s events and emphasized having supper together. Family and special events were marked with her original poems noting keen observations of human behavior. There was always a stack of books next to her chair, and one in her car, and she passed her love of reading and words on to her children, grandchildren (5) and great-grandchildren (12). Gifts always included a special book. Her favorite holiday was Christmas. She enjoyed traveling to California, Hawaii and Cabo San Lucas. She loved wit and laughter and punning!
Dorothy is survived by her husband of 72 years, Lee W. Dickenson of Coos Bay; her children LeAnne Raze (Gary) of Elmira, OR and Steve Dickenson (Kym) of Roseburg; granddaughters Kari Withers (Drew) of Beijing, China and Traci McCready (Eric) of Macedonia, IA; grandsons Gary M. Raze (Genevieve) of Potomac, MD; Chris Dickenson (Jamie) of Cove, OR; Tim Dickenson (Beth) of Heppner, OR; and 12 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her sisters Dona Miller of Toledo, OR and Marlene Quick (Bill) of Springfield, OR. She was preceded in death by her parents and sisters Mary Johnson and Karen Maynard.
Dorothy’s family wants to thank the staffs of Pacific Health and Hospice Care and Bayside Terrace Assisted Living Center for their excellent care and kindness.
A Celebration of Life at First Baptist Church, Toledo, OR, was held on August 18, 2018. Interment was at Eureka Cemetery in Newport, OR. Arrangements were handled by Nelson’s Bay Area Mortuary, Coos Bay.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the libraries of your local school or community or the Susan J. Komen Foundation.
The family can be contacted at 90226 Sheffler Road, Elmira, OR 97437 or firstname.lastname@example.org or at 175 Nugget St., Roseburg, OR 97470 or email@example.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of Nelson's Bay Area Mortuary, 405 Elrod Ave, Coos Bay, Oregon 97420 Ph. 541/267-4216