Our much loved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Dorothy Mitchell Bland, passed away on Aug. 13, 2018, at the age of 96, at Martha and Mary in Poulsbo.
She was born on April 30, 1922 in Leavenworth Kansas, the second daughter in a family that would ultimately include nine siblings.
As a child raised during the Great Depression, Dorothy was forever impacted by the need she witnessed to advocate for greater economic equality and social justice. When World War II began she went to Wichita to work for Boeing as a welder and sent money home to help her younger siblings.
Then Dorothy decided to join the newly created Women Marines, to contribute more directly to the war effort, and was sent to Cherry Point, North Carolina where she met, Walton, her future husband of 50 years.
After the war they relocated to Brunswick, Georgia where she lived until Walton’s death in 1995.
There Dorothy worked, raised two children, was active in local integration struggles and finally obtained her AA Degree in English after her children were grown, while helping Walton run his small business.
She imbued her children with a love of reading, a respect for education, a deep concern for the welfare of others and a keen sense of civic commitment.
Dorothy loved poetry and wrote her own, she loved music and had a natural gift that allowed her to “play by ear” and she loved dancing anytime — including with her son-in-law Phil on San Marco Piazza during a trip to Venice and her grandson Adam during a Bainbridge Island Senior Center fashion show.
In 1997 Dorothy moved to Bainbridge Island and became an active member at the Senior Center and a volunteer at Ordway Elementary. Along with others, Dorothy lobbied for safe speeds and crosswalk aids for pedestrians in Winslow. Please think of her when you or your children use the crosswalk flag in Winslow — she will be smiling.
Dorothy loved the Pacific Northwest and the fact that she was close to grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who nicknamed her Gigi, and we all adored having her with us.
She is survived by her sister Nancy Unti, Addison, Illinois; daughter, Marilyn Brenneman (Phil), Bainbridge Island; son, Mitchell Bland, Marietta, Georgia; grandchildren, Jonathan Pearson, Jason Pearson (Sally), Jake Brenneman (Beth) and Adam Brenneman (Robin); and her beloved great-grandchildren, Benjamin and Tyler Pearson and Jack, Ella, Hazel and Fletcher Brenneman.
Remembrances on Dorothy’s behalf can be made to Habitat for Humanity.