Dorothy May Deal

September 3, 1917 ~ April 2, 2019 (age 101)

Dorothy May Deal

September 3, 1917 - April 2, 2019
Dorothy lived to be 101 years old.  Her parents were Lowell E. Neel and Alta Wood Neel.  She graduated from Duniway grade school and Washington high school in Portland.  She married Tom Deal November 13, 1938.  He died at the age of 60 in 1977.   They lived in Portland, Redmond, Agate Beach, Salem, the Bay Area of San Francisco and Vancouver.  Dorothy continued living in their Vancouver home until she was 81.  She then moved to Summerfield Estates until she was 96.  She then lived in Assistive Living in Lake Oswego and Sherwood until she died.


She and Tom had three daughters, Marilyn, Susan and Carole.  She had six grandchildren, Scott, Troy, Leslie, Suzanne, Rebecca and Dustin.  Susan and Troy preceded her in death, as well as two of her sons-in-law.  She had eight great-grandchildren, Richard, Joe, Jacob, Alexia, D’Acy, Frances, Felix and Benson.


Dorothy was from a pioneer family (on her mother’s side) who came to Oregon from Kansas in 1881.  They jokingly said that they had enough sense to wait for the first train!  Her great, great grandparents, great grandparents, grandmother who was 8 years old, came out with aunts, uncles and cousins.  They settled in the Gresham area initially.  Later, her grandparents had greenhouses and supplied flowers to Tommy Luke florist and others.  The Gresham Historical Museum has a pioneer cookbook that includes recipes from her ancestors and several are buried in the pioneer cemetery in Gresham.


She was a stay-at-home Mom, then worked two days a week and eventually full time.  Her last job was as a secretary for Grange Insurance in Vancouver.  She wanted to be a nurse so she took 4 years of Latin and all of the science and math offered at her high school.  However, there was a college requirement that a nurse had to be 5’4” inches tall and she grew to only 5’3”.  She could have enrolled in the Good Samaritan Hospital nursing program but her father drove by the hospital and saw nursing students smoking and refused to let her go there!  She then took a secretarial course and married.  She did have an excellent high school education, though.  She worked as a realtor and sold the first house to a black family in Salem, Oregon in 1957.  She felt strongly that people were all the same and especially enjoyed a job helping young gay men find jobs in San Francisco in the early 1960’s.  


She was a life long Episcopalian.  While in Vancouver she was a member of the Church of the Good Shepherd.  She was active in her church and helped with the Loaves and Fishes program.


Dorothy loved Beta Sigma Phi activities and served as President several times throughout the years.  She was an avid reader and enjoyed gardening and sewing.  She liked flowers, particularly roses, and arranging. She loved animals especially dogs and cats.


She was so optimistic and not much could ever get her down.  She loved politics and stood up for her beliefs and values.  She was a delegate from her district to the Republican caucus in Washington State.  Later after hearing George HW Bush, she switched her party to Democrat because she said that Bush didn’t know anything about the Northwest!  She voted for Hillary in 2016 at the age of  after carefully considering the candidates!


We were so blessed to have such a kind, gentle and loving mother and grandmother who lived such a long life and cared so much for her family.  


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