Dorothy May DeWitt, née Herrmann, passed away at the age of 84 years old Tuesday, March 16, 2021, at 9:15 am at Lois’s Place adult family home.
Dorothy was born February 18, 1937, in Mosher, South Dakota. Her parents were Tobias Chris Herrmann and Martha Clara Herrmann, née Gall. She is one of six children. They grew up on a farm two miles away from Mosher. Which around that time, only had a population of seventeen. She attended Winner High school for one year and graduated from Colome High School in 1955.
Dorothy had a fondness for nature, she had gardens through her life that sustained her family. When she was young she rode horses, until she got kicked by one. She was a polio survivor. Her determination to keep walking and the tough farm life made her the hard-working and kind person she was.
When she was 19, she moved to Washington State. Her first job was at the Meridian Cafe in downtown Puyallup. She later worked at a cookie factory, Almond Roca, a local nursing home, and her last job was at American Linen until she retired at the age of 65.
Dorothy had many loves in her life: Her husband, her family, her children, her many grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Dorothy had seven children, four girls, and three boys. Throughout their lives, they lived in Puyallup and Tacoma. Tragically, in 1989 she lost her home in Puyallup to a fire. She did not have many opportunities to return home to South Dakota to visit because she could not afford it. Her children remember the only time they saw her cry was when hearing the news of her mother’s passing in 1978.
To say Dorothy loved her children would be an understatement. She was a fiercely protective and nurturing mother. Her children remember her as the woman who stood up for them in their times of need, who stayed with them all night or until they fell asleep, and the person they trusted with all their secrets. The collection of family pictures, report cards, notes from teachers, and various scraps of personal records is a testament to her diligence over the years. Not just her own seven children. Dorothy and her late husband took in any child in need and treated them like they were their own, providing them with clothes, shoes, food, and kindness. Three out of their seven were adopted in 1980 and they fostered a handful of children over the years.
Her home was always open. Every year there was a good handful of barbecues, Christmas and Thanksgiving Turkey Dinners, and family visits. True to mom fashion, she made sure everyone had enough to eat and places to sit. Even allowing her rambunctious grandchildren to stay with her very often.
She rarely drove. Instead, she often relied on the bus to get to and from work. Even rejecting rides to work because she did not want to make her husband’s commute longer. She was comfortable riding shotgun, taking the bus, or going on long walks. Though when the emergency arose, she drove 5 miles per hour to take her son to the emergency room.
She always said sweets were fattening, but she had a big sweet tooth. Over the years she has enjoyed many homemade sweets her family gave here. She enjoyed snickerdoodle cookies, cupcakes, and waffles. She loved animals, having had a variety of pets over the years; cats, dogs, and horses. In her alone time, she did crossword puzzles, read the newspaper, and went on car rides with her late husband, Robert Gean DeWitt. She loved classic country music, especially Patsy Cline.
In 2016, Dorothy moved into the adult family home called Lois’s Place. True to her character, she rarely sat down. The muscle memory of her time working in a nursing home was reflected during her time there. She folded laundry, helped the other people living there, and did some cleaning.
She will be deeply missed but her family rests easy knowing she is no longer in pain and is reunited with loved ones in the afterlife. She is survived by her two siblings; James Herrmann and Margie Hansen, her seven children; Mary, Barbara, Bobby, Marilyn, Rodney, Tammy, and John,her eighteen grandchildren, and her five great grandchildren. Her memorial will be held at Powers Funeral Home Friday, March 26 at 2 pm sharp.
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