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Official Obituary of

Dorothy Ruth Gathercoal Cruickshank

February 11, 1936 ~ February 29, 2024 (age 88) 88 Years Old

Dorothy Cruickshank Obituary

Dorothy Ruth Gathercoal Cruickshank died the morning of February 29, 2024. She was 88 years old, having just celebrated her birthday a few weeks earlier. Dorothy was born on February 11, 1936 at home in Wilmette, Illinois. She was preceded in death by her husband, John J. Cruickshank, whom she married in 1959, and her older sister Bette. Dorothy is survived by her daughter Betsy (husband Tom), granddaughter Katie (husband Sam) and granddaughter Annie (husband Kyle), and brother, James (wife Carmen).


Between February 11, 1936 and February 29, 2024 she lived a very full life from Camp Fire Girls, mowing lawns and playing along the banks of the Willamette River when her family moved to Corvallis during World War II. She was known for easily making friends and playfully tormenting her younger brother. After graduating from Corvallis High School she attended Oregon State College, where she enjoyed making friends with her sorority sisters in Delta Gamma and studying to become a teacher. Always interested in helping others (and having fun along the way), she eventually obtained a Masters degree in counseling from the University of Oregon. Despite the U of O Masters degree, she was a Beavers fan through-and-through. She spent many years teaching in Bend, LaGrande, Corvallis and eventually Eugene where she transitioned to a school counselor. Along with working full-time, and never one to sit still, she taught evening parenting classes, ran outdoor schools, and was active in and became the president of many professional organizations including the Oregon Society of Individual Psychology and the Oregon Counseling Association. One of the outstanding traits that Dorothy had was that she collected friends and maintained lifelong friendships - people she went to grade school, high school and college with. People she met while teaching, skiing, gardening and volunteering. She maintained these friendships into her 80’s and continued to make friends at every retirement community she lived in.


After retiring in 1993 from school counseling, where she had an uncanny ability to connect with children, she became even busier volunteering with the Eugene Garden Club, Pearl Buck Center, and the League of Women Voters. Dorothy was an avid gardener and claimed she never met a plant she didn’t like. Her garden was an eclectic mix of whatever caught her eye while visiting other gardens and nurseries. One of her favorite trips was to England to visit English gardens and she came home with many specimens that she claimed she legitimately obtained but her family always questioned. On a family trip to Yellowstone she tried to smuggle a buffalo chip (which is literally buffalo poop) into her luggage. This led to an interesting conversation with the TSA on the way home. A trip with Dorothy was always interesting, always involved laughter, and only occasionally involved the authorities.


Dorothy also had four nephews and two nieces who she loved spoiling with presents, especially if the presents would annoy their parents - think loud musical instruments and toys with very small parts. Dorothy was always organizing something fun, whether it was a float trip down the river, a bonfire, camping, skiing, a tea party, or strawberry picking as soon as possible in June. She was known for her mouthwatering strawberry jam and a surprisingly delicious strawberry soup. Besides her family and gardening Dorothy’s greatest passion was skiing at Hoodoo and Bachelor. She was at Bachelor on opening day in 1958 and had a season pass there for many many decades. Her last ski trip she was talked into skiing down the headwall at Hoodoo at the age of 80! There is even a picture of her at the Hoodoo lodge, which she loved to show off to anyone who was walking past.


A celebration of life gathering will be held in Eugene in the summer of 2024.














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