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Dorothy Thompson Lodge

Dorothy Thompson Lodge was born on August 22, 1912, and grew up in Fullerton, California. Her parents, Orrin and Margaret Herrick Thompson, had moved to California from Iowa, settling in Fullerton around 1910.

Dorothy attended public schools in Fullerton and graduated from Fullerton Union High School before attending Pomona College. She spent her junior year in New York City, attending Barnard College.

After graduation from Pomona, Dorothy enrolled at the University of Southern California Law School, where she graduated in 1938. There were eleven women in her law school class, which, at that time, was considered a "bumper crop."

A pioneering woman lawyer, she initially worked in her brother Raymond Thompson's law office in Fullerton, and briefly as a public defender. Later, she served as Orange County's first woman deputy district attorney.

When Raymond was appointed to the Superior Court, she took over his practice and continued its growth. She served as general counsel and corporate secretary of Pacific Hawaiian Corporation (producers of Hawaiian Punch). She also served on the Board of Directors of Fullerton Savings & Loan Association for over 50 years.

Dorothy practiced law in Orange and San Diego Counties for more than 45 years, with her office at home much of the time when her children were young.

In 1942 Dorothy married Hilmer Gilbert Lodge, a teacher and coach whom Dorothy met through her sister Helen's husband, Harold Lang. Dorothy and Hilmer lived briefly in Fullerton before moving to Placentia, where they raised their five children. Hilmer was best known as a successful track and field coach and founder of the Mt. San Antonio College Relays.

In 1963, they moved to Pala where they were engaged in citrus farming. Dorothy and Hilmer enjoyed many happy years at the Pala ranch before Hilmer passed away in 1977.

She continued to be very active following Hilmer's death, and particularly enjoyed visits with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

She died peacefully at the Encinitas Retirement Gardens on January 3, 2010, in her 97th year.

Dorothy is survived by children, Eric Lodge of Solana Beach, Elizabeth ("Betsy") Bremer of Mililani, Hawaii, Raymond Lodge of Pala, Margaret Louise Lodge of El Cajon, and Rosemary Otto of Spokane, Washington, as well as their spouses, twelve grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at St. Francis Episcopal Church in Pauma Valley on Saturday, January 16, at 11am. The family suggests memorial contributions to the Home of Guiding Hands, 1825 Gillespie Way, Suite 200, El Cajon, CA 92020, where Dorothy's daughter, Margaret, has resided for many years.


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Paul Saevig, '67 on January 13, 2010 at 9:01 PM said:

My mother met Dorothy when Mom worked as an assistant to Dr. Bill Scott, DO, around 1943 in the Chapman Building in downtown Fullerton. Dorothy's secretary was always Helen Badger, who lived with her sister Elizabeth for many years on Malvern just west of Nicholas (Euclid). Helen was Mom's best friend and one of my "aunts". When I was born in 1949, Dorothy came to visit Mom and see me in the hospital. Throughout her long life, Dorothy was a prominent Fullerton citizen and well known in legal circles throughout Southern California and sometimes beyond. Just about everyone in Fullerton knew Dorothy and her brother, Judge Raymond Thompson.

I told Mom about her friend Dorothy this evening and she was pensive. Just about all her old friends have passed on.

To show you how inter-connected Fullerton was in those days, Helen Badger's sister Elizabeth -- or "Lib" -- was the first librarian at Mt. SAC. I remember as a boy when Lib left Fullerton for a year or two to get her master's degree in Library Science at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, around 1959. Around 1965, Helen and Lib moved to a North Euclid house next door to the Morgan family, including Bill Morgan, '67. The sisters were from Anaheim, and Lib died around 1970, Helen around 1980 -- sorry, guesses only. They were also good friends with Dorian Hunter, the well known Fullerton interior designer, and I believe the Muckenthalers, too. (Mom always said Helen "could type like greased lightning, 130 WPM or more." That was with the old manual typewriters,)

God bless all these fine women.

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