Dortha Lee Garrett was born on December 11, 1927, in Hamilton, Colo., a small unincorporated city in the northwestern corner of the state. She passed away early on Tuesday morning, April 25, 2017, at the Oregon Veterans Home in The Dalles, Ore. Known as “Dottie” to all who knew and loved her, she was the only child of Claude Olin Haddock and Helen Alzanea Ledbetter Haddock. After being home-schooled in her earlier years, she attended Eagle Valley High School in Gypsum, Colo., where she was active in girls sports and became a drum majorette during her junior and senior year, before graduating in 1946.
On December 13, 1947, she married Robert Blaine Garrett. They were married for just under 60 years before his death in November of 2007. The couple had three boys in their union. Gary Lee Garrett, Steven Blaine Garrett and Randy Robert Garrett.
The Garretts lived in Pueblo, Colo., and Santa Fe, N. M., before moving to The Dalles, Ore., in May of 1955. Robert accepted a transfer with the Pacific Northwest Bell Telephone Company which brought the family from Colorado to Oregon that year.
Dottie was on the forefront of the working women’s movement and was never shy about taking on any work challenge. She worked as a grocery store clerk at Ray’s Market in The Dalles, often trading her paycheck for family food bills at the store. She later worked for the Carson Bales family at their grocery store, Super On Sixth as a cashier and later began keeping books for them, she then became employed at The Dalles Chronicle as a bundler and rural route delivery driver.
She used her small business school training to land a job with a local clothier shop, Maier and Krier, in downtown The Dalles, where she handled accounts and payroll for the small family outlet. Her experience led her to her final workplace assignment with Craig’s Office Supply, where she was head bookkeeper for several years before retiring in 1986 to join her husband who had retired from the phone company in 1982.
Dottie enjoyed bowling with Robert well into their 80’s, often joined with bowlers many years their juniors. The couple were avid fishermen and enjoyed many weekend outings on the Deschutes and Hood Rivers. She was also very talented at knitting and crocheting, always providing hand-made gifts for her friends and family. Her generous spirit and love of people kept her busy with these crafts up until her dexterity waned shortly before passing.
In October of 2015 she moved from a private apartment to the Oregon Veterans Home in The Dalles. There she remained a cheerful and helpful member of the Bravo Wing constituency, often found escorting other patients to and from the dining hall and game nights. She became a member of the Covenant Christian Church over the last few years of her life and enjoyed the services there immensely, making many more new friends each week.
Dottie was a devoted owner of her beloved Yorkshire Terrier, Chelsea, and was saddened when she lost her in 2014.
Dottie is survived by her three sons and their wives, Gary and Kathy Milwauakie, Ore., Steven and Jeanne The Dalles, Ore., and Randy and Carol Madras, Ore. As well as nine grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.
The family is planning a celebration of life memorial service for Dottie on Sunday, May 7, at 2 p.m. and Covenant Christian Church 2630 E. 18th St. The Dalles. Pastor John Ricards will be presiding at the service with an open mic sharing time to follow. Light refreshments will be served.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that any memorial donations be made to the Gideons International Bible Foundation in her name.
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