Mrs. Dorothy Dickinson, 1915-2005
Mother of Mary and Bill, '65


DOROTHY KEYE DICKINSON Dorothy, often called "Dottie" by her friends, was a beloved mother, grandmother, great grandmother, friend and neighbor. Born in Rockford, Illinois on October 21, 1915 to Richard Edward and Mary Belle Keye, she was the youngest of six children. She passed away peacefully in Fullerton, California on January 28, 2005. Dorothy graduated from Rockford's East High School in 1933 and had a brief career singing on the radio in Chicago before marrying William Wallace (Wally)Dickinson on September 7, 1940. They had two children, Mary Barbara and William Wallace, Jr. (Bill). '65.

She was a full-time homemaker and mother in Illinois. In 1953, the family moved to Fullerton where Dorothy quickly acclimated to the weather and the community. She became a Girl Scout leader and PTA President. She was a Deacon at First Presbyterian Church in Fullerton and chairperson of the Wedding Committee. As a Deacon in the 1960's, she helped settle Vietnamese refugees in the Fullerton area.

She attended Fullerton Community College and received an AA degree in Library Science. in 1967, Dorothy and Wally returned to Rockford as Wally was transferred back to Testor Corporation's home office. Dorothy worked at the Rockford library and enjoyed being close to her family and renewing old friendships.

In 1973, when Wally was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, they chose to return to California and settled in Yorba Linda. Dorothy was courageous during Wally's battle with Alzheimer's staying close by his side while searching for something to arrest its progress. Wally passed away on January 28, 1978.

Dorothy took her love for children and her energy to Mabel Paine and Linda Vista schools in Yorba Linda where she helped and encouraged learning-challenged children to do their best. She loved to read to them and see them on the playground. She made many wonderful friends in Yorba Linda at school, at the library where she volunteered, and in her neighborhood. They visited and supported her until her passing, giving her great pleasure with each visit.

Dorothy is survived by her daughter Mary Barbara Landa and husband Victor of San Diego, California; son Bill Dickinson of Sherman Oaks, California; daughter-in-law Sage Valenzuela of West Toluca Lake, California; grandson Gregory Scott Landa, wife Pamela and great grandson Ethan Scott Landa of San Marcos, California; and granddaughter Julie Suzanne Landa of Astoria, New York. There will be a memorial service in Fullerton, California at a later date. She will be interned in the Keye family plot at Greenwood Cemetery in Rockford, Illinois.

Published by Orange County Register on Feb. 10, 2005.

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