Dorothy lived a wonderful and full life, passing away at the age of 92 on September 11th, 2021, at Autumn House of Grants Pass.
Dorothy was born on February 9th, 1929, in Grants Pass, Oregon. She was the daughter of Lester and Gwladys Ford. She had five siblings, Bob, Kathryn, Porter, Glynn, and Ralph, with whom she maintained close relationships throughout her life.
She was a life-long resident of Southern Oregon and a proud Oregonian.
She graduated from Grants Pass High School in 1947. She enjoyed being involved in her Grants Pass High School Class of 1947 reunion committee for many years.
She had five wonderful children, who blessed her with 22 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren, and 9 great-great-grandchildren. Dorothy was the center of the family, bringing everyone together for Christmas and the family's 4th of July picnics. She always ensured every child who attended Christmas at her house had a special gift waiting for them.
When one of her grandkids called and invited her, she made sure to show up for their special event. Even with such a big family, Dorothy cultivated special relationships with each of her family members and brought everyone together.
After her husband Lewis died in 1980, Dorothy lived her remaining days as a strong and independent woman.
Dorothy was a master seamstress and worked at The Golden Rule Department Store for over 20 years in the fabric department.
After all of her kids were in school, Dorothy pursued a career in art and made her mark on the local art community. She focused on charcoal early in her career. Eventually, she defined herself as a painter and learned by taking classes with her sister and exploring different art communities from California to New Mexico with her good friend Margaret Dunbar. She loved to create while out in nature.
She was particularly inspired by an art-orientated summer she spent in Holland and France, where she was able to study the old masters.
She was a long-time member of the Grants Pass Museum of Art. She was a Featured Artist of the Month at the Grants Pass Art Gallery. She was particularly proud of getting into the juried nationwide show at the Springfield Museum of Art in Springfield, Utah. She was featured in numerous one-person shows, and group shows throughout Oregon from the 1970s through the present. Dorothy also taught art classes at Rogue Community College and the Patchwork in Rogue River. In her later years, she very much enjoyed volunteering at the Grants Pass Museum of Art with her good friend Donnis Smith.
Her artwork focused on northwest landscapes, flowers, and fruit. She was proud of her work and liked it to be taken seriously. She believed one should "Paint what you know and love. Paint the everyday scene in an uncommon way."
She pursued her artistic passion and demonstrated how one could go after their dreams at any age.
Dorothy was also a master gardener and loved attending to her garden. She cultivated a beautiful backyard in her little pink house. She also enjoyed photography, card making, and crafting.
She loved Oregon Duck Football and enjoyed watching the games on television.
She liked to hike and be in the outdoors and passed that love onto her children and grandchildren. She even took on a big multi-day hiking trip with some of her children and grandkids down the Lower Rogue River in 1995.
She was an antiquity expert and hunted down old bottles in the mining and labor camps around the Rogue Valley.
Dorothy is survived by four of her children and their spouses, Rita and John Kurz, Alan and Penny Brenton, Gary and Kathy Tulare, all of Grants Pass, and Lewis and Karen Tulare of Bend. She is survived by 21 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren, 9 great-great-grandchildren, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews, who love her very much.
She was preceded in death by her daughter, Christy White, grandson Matthew White, her husband, parents, and all her siblings.
A special thank you to Autumn House for their excellent care. A very special thanks to Robin, Brittany, Joanne, and Jaclyn for their superb attention and care of Dorothy during her last years.
The Celebration of Life Event for Dorothy will be held on Sunday, October 24th, at 1:00 p.m. at the Wild River Pub Banquet Room, 533 NE F St, Grants Pass, Oregon. Please come join us in celebrating Dorothy's life.
Arrangements under the care of Stephens Family Chapel. www.stephensfc.com