M. Dorothy (Dawson) Seidel

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PORTLAND - M. Dorothy Dawson Seidel, 92, passed away peacefully on May 26, 2017, at the Barron Center in Portland, with family at her side.

The daughter of Eleanor Ross Dawson and James W. Dawson, Dorothy was born in Portland, the second of four children. She graduated salutatorian (ranking second highest in her class) from St. Joseph's Academy and attended St. Joseph's College.

Dorothy intended to pursue a writing career, but after her father's unexpected death from illness, she left college to support her mother and younger sister by working in the post office. When World War II ended, and the post office began hiring returning GIs, Dorothy went to work at the Portland Public Library.

During that time, she met Charles Seidel, who recently had established an optometry practice near the library. Each took note of the other while riding the bus to work each morning.

One afternoon, Charles persuaded a friend to repeatedly drive him around the block so that he might casually encounter Dorothy as she left work. Their first date was spent dancing to the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra at the Old Orchard Beach pier.

They married in 1951, raised five daughters in Portland, spent summers at Pine Point beach and vacationed on Marco Island, Florida. Dottie and Charlie's Pine Point cottage became a spot for multigenerational family gatherings.

Their open-door policy produced indelible, happy memories of beach days spent with children and then grandchildren, cookouts, card games, and sharing stories and laughter while sitting in rocking chairs lined up on the front porch.

Dottie loved big band music and often played "Name That Tune" with neighbors on the beach. In fact, she had been voted queen of the USO dance, where she also was selected as "the girl I would most like to take home to Mother" and won an award for having the "best legs."

Dottie's children and grandchildren were her greatest pleasure in life. Friendships also were precious; as recently as last summer, Dottie met regularly with a group of childhood "club girl" friends for lunch. She had an inquisitive mind and a lifelong love of reading. As a child, she read under the covers late at night, using a flashlight. For many years, she and her sister, Eleanor, were on the telephone each night to share the final question on "Jeopardy!"

In their later years, Dottie and Charlie moved to The Park Danforth Association senior community and enjoyed new friends and activities. Clark's Terrace Assisted Living's wonderful staff provided years of comfort and created the feeling of home for Dottie. Her final months were spent living at the Barron Center, where she received exceptional care from the dedicated staff.

Dorothy was predeceased by her husband, Charles T. Seidel; her oldest daughter, Dorothy Jeanne Sarafian; her grandson, Derek S. Rocchini; her sister, Eleanor Minvielle; and brother, James W. Dawson.

She is survived by four daughters: Kathleen Seidel and husband, Russ, of Newburyport, Mass.; Joan Seidel and spouse, Jan Hurwitz, of Boston, Mass.; Carol Rocchini and husband, Rich, of Cranford, N.J.; Nancy Melrose and husband, Dean, of Lyndeborough, N.H.; eight grandchildren: Andrew and Shannon Seidel; Lauren and Tia Rocchini; Nichole, Courtney, Casey and Connor Melrose; and great-grandson, Talan Melrose. Also surviving is her sister, Jeanne (Mrs. Joseph F.) Thornton Sr., of Manchester, NH; and son-in-law, Gregory Sarafian, of Watertown, Mass.; as well as numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Joseph's Church in Portland at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 17, 2017. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery, South Portland. To share memories or leave online condolences for the family, visit: www.jonesrichandbarnes.com.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Dorothy's name may be made to
The Iris Network
Development Office
189 Park Avenue
Portland, ME 04102

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Funeral Home
Jones, Rich & Barnes Funeral Home
199 Woodford Street
Portland, ME 04103
(207) 775-3763
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on June 13, 2017
Funeral Home Details
Portland, ME   (207) 775-3763
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