The local community including artists, weavers and fellow Episcopalians are mourning the loss of Dorothy Wilkinson, age 90, who died Sunday, Dec. 16. Almost reaching her home before collapsing, she had walked the 12 blocks to and from the store during a violent storm, a final act of independence so typical of this incredibly kind, generous, genuine, loving, hum-orous and intelligent woman who cared for herself, her home and her pets without help.
During the 37 years that Dorothy lived in Crescent City, she touched many lives.
Dorothy and her friend Claire Hefti founded The Windy Weavers, a group of spinners, weavers and knitters who met at Dorothy's house every Friday afternoon for 31 years until the group became so large that a few years ago they moved to the Episcopalian community room.
For 30 years she and two friends, Millicent Neissen and Alice Linsemeyer, led a study of the Bible every Wednesday evening at the Episcopal Church. For 20 years she volunteered as the sole janitorial and laundry service to her church.
Dorothy was an enthusiastic supporter of the arts. She could always be found in the first row of any performance whether it was a community concert, a DNACA show or the yearly musical by LRT. She especially enjoyed the twice yearly concerts by the Del Norte/Curry Community Orchestra.
Art and artists were an important part of her life. Her house was filled with not only her big oil paintings but also those of her artist friends, especially those painted by her neighbor and teacher, Virginia Brubaker. Her bedroom walls were painted a bright watermelon red.
Dorothy's early life was fraught with hardship. She was born with a congenital tremor causing her to vow never to marry. Her father's premature death forced her mother's desperate attempt to homestead in Hemet's desert with three small daughters. Dorothy, at age 6, was taken from her and removed to an orphanage. Her independent nature was evident when she demanded to be released at 14 to earn her own way. Eventually she met her beloved Hans. They married and together began a successful florist shop, "El Nido," on Southern California's coast. His early death led Dorothy to relocate with her mother to Crescent City in 1970. She found a wonderful 100-year-old house on E Street near the ocean. She had managed to live near the ocean her entire adult life. Her mother lived with her until she passed away at age 99.
Dorothy had no living immediate relatives having lost her parents, sisters and husband. Under the arrangements of Wier's Mortuary, Dorothy will be buried with her husband and mother in Southern California. She is survived by a niece, Rowenna Southwell, of Aloha, Ore.; nephew, Fred Mork, of Berkeley, who is the executor of her estate; nephew Bill Mork and nephew Joe Parra.
A memorial service is planned by the Episcopal congregation for some time in January 2008, to be announced. Fred Mork plans a family memorial for sometime in March 2008, so that Dorothy's niece, nephews, grand nieces and grand nephew, great-grand nieces and great-great-grand nieces can attend.