Scout Master, Fire Lookout, Square Dancer, costume seamstress, P.E.O. Chapter President, marksman, and beauty pageant winner. This is but a sliver of the unique fun Dorothy (Dottye) Lennon brought to this world. When Dottye was born on Christmas Eve, her siblings proudly exclaimed that Santa had "brought them a sister!” Born and raised in South Carolina, she cherished her family, the Christian faith, and a hard-as-nails Gallman work ethic. At a young age, Dorothy decided her nickname should be Dottye, and Dottye was never without full makeup and the perfect outfit until she retired (N-E-V-E-R). She practiced equipoise and well-mannered decorum but partnered with the most mischievous characters like her husband, Tom. During their junior year of high school, Dottye was approached by Tom while making homemade milkshakes at Cowan's Drive-In Restaurant. He asked her for her name, but she refused to give it to him. He inevitably convinced her friend to tell him so he could ask her out, and on their first date, he promptly ran out of gas. Thus began their 67-year-old love story!
Five (5) years after meeting, Tom convinced Miss Appleton to marry him and embark on a wild journey as a Forest Service wife and move to rugged wildernesses with no phones, sewer, or amenities. Tom was eventually sent to headquarters in Washington, D.C., and the family settled and remained. At the age of 48, Dottye started her career with AT&T in government affairs, inspiring her friends and family to make brave choices in the face of opposing societal beliefs that it may be "too late." Tom describes their varied lifestyle as "from the outhouse to the White House," a testament to Dottye's adaptability and easy-going approach to life.
They may have lived in areas with few or no amenities; however, Dottye always looked like she kept company with the likes of Jackie Onassis and consistently entertained with Southern pageantry to ensure others felt welcomed. If it was Christmas, guests to dinner would always have a gift. If it was a birthday lunch, the silver was always polished. When questioned by her daughter if all this fuss was really important, she responded, "Yes, it's important. It makes people feel cared for," and she was right. The stories have been pouring in from friends and family about how Dottye turned around a lonely time with a simple gesture or helped them through a difficult situation. She always had a way of making you feel so important, loved, and cherished. Whether it be her family, friends, or acquaintances, everyone describes her as graceful, warm, and welcoming, and they are quick to share a story about how she made them feel so special. She was also FUN! The laughter that accompanied Forest Service parties, casual get-togethers, and family visits in South Carolina was inescapable.
This gentle spirit passed peacefully in her sleep with her beloved husband, Tom, holding her hand. Dorothy, Dottye, Dot, Aunt Dot, Mom, Mamma, Gram, Pris, and Princess - you will be missed!
Dorothy is survived by her husband, Tom, and their daughters Sandra (Steve) and Whitney (Jason). She was predeceased by their son, Packy. She is also survived by her three grandchildren, Joshua, Harley, Kenyan, and Joshua's two daughters, Lucia and Liv. In addition, she is survived by two step-grandsons and two step-granddaughters and by two other great-granddaughters by marriage.
The family would like to express our appreciation to all who have provided meals, love, and care during the last ten years. We are so grateful for our Messiah United Methodist Church community, friends from near and far, all of our family, and our neighbors for your support. Special thanks to Capital Caring Health Hospice, Direct Cremation Services of Virginia, and Revolution Meds for your thoughtfulness and respectful care of Dottye during the last month. It truly meant the world to us. Thank you.
A celebration of Dottye's life will be held on Friday, 10 September 2021, at 1:30 pm at Messiah United Methodist Church, 6215 Rolling Road, Springfield, VA 22152. In lieu of flowers, Dottye requested that charitable donations be made in her formal name, Dorothy Lennon, to the P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education, a need-based grant program that was dear to her heart, at https://donations.peointernational.org/peo-donation-pce. (Her P.E.O. Chapter was Z\VA). (Copy and paste the website address to complete the form, and select IMO [In Memory of]. Her P.E.O. Chapter was Z\VA).
A Memorial Tree was planted for Dorothy
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Direct Cremation Svcs of VA - Chantilly