Sunday, April 30, 2006

Obituary: Dorothy Collins DeWitt - Class of 1929

MADISON - Dorothy Collins DeWitt passed away peacefully on Tuesday, April 25, 2006, at Attic Angel Place. She was born on May 10, 1911, in Madison, the daughter of William H. and Dora (Kinney) Collins. After graduation from Madison Central High School, Dorothy attended the University of Wisconsin where she received a master's degree in Comparative Literature in 1937. Her second master's degree - this in Social Work - was earned at Wayne State University in 1965, the same year she became a proud grandmother. She was employed by TIME magazine in New York from 1937 until her marriage in 1939 to Thomas Ward DeWitt of Pelham, N.Y. Tom had completed requirements for a PhD in Physical Chemistry and won a post doctorate fellowship to Johns Hopkins University. That began a series of long distance moves, many new communities, many new friends and in every location, many opportunities for Dorothy to do volunteer work. Until very late in her life, Dorothy continued to volunteer herself and her time. She was a regular at St. Marys Day Care Center. Her house was full of foreign college graduate students who brought their compositions to Dorothy for editorial comment. Dorothy played classical piano and so it followed that many graduate music students enjoyed her grand piano and her genuine interest. She is survived by her two daughters, Suki and Carol; three grandchildren, Jennifer, John and Jess; and three great-grandchildren, Caleb, Jack, and Aubrey. Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Tom in 1991; four brothers, William, John, Paul and Joseph; and beloved sister, Catherine, who lived for many years with Dorothy in Attic Angels and recently died in 2004. Dorothy's family would like to acknowledge the loving attention of her niece and god child, Joan Lane of Oak Ridge, Tenn. and Dorothy's other niece and her husband, Carol (Jerry) Sedik of Belvidere, Ill. who came to Madison every Tuesday for years to honor their aunts and take them on adventures. Their love and devotion are exceptional and rare. Our family is so grateful to her friend and companion, Sharon Borland, who in caring for Dorothy made cheer a top priority, followed closely by lots of hugs. Dorothy's children, coming from out of state for extended visits, were witness to day and night, week after week, year after year of tender care by the staff at Attic Angel Place. To help the elderly through challenging times seems the most noble of professions. Surely Dorothy would want us all to volunteer where needed. We gladly send her to peace, but she will be missed in this world by all those whose lives she has touched. Joyce-Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services 5701 Odana Road (608) 274-1000

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on April 30, 2006

Note: Dorothy Collins's class year is based on information in the 1929 Tychoberahn, where her photograph is included among those of the June graduating class.

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