Dorothy Garrison of Manchester passed peacefully from this life to the next on February 23, 2023 at age 97. She was born Mary Dorothy Kramer on November 21, 1925 to Henry and Letitia Young Kramer. She had two much loved younger siblings, Lois and Charlie. Dot grew up in a large extended family aunts, uncles, and cousins who helped form the person she became.
After graduating from Manchester High School in 1943, she attended UConn for two years before marrying Weyant Garrison in 1946. They settled into family life in Manchester where Dot stayed for the rest of her life. Two daughters came along and a whole new generation of aunts, uncles, and cousins were added as years went by.
Dot and Weyant Garrison were always welcoming people into their home for drop-in visits, holiday and birthday gatherings, and many long term stays. Most everyone in the family lived with them at one time or another, as Dot would often say. There was always lots of food, conversation, laughter, and love. Together, they were ready to help anyone in need at a moment’s notice.
There were two primary occupations in Dot’s life. She managed the school cafeteria at Waddell School for a decade and then went on to be the office manager at the chiropractic office of Dr. Robert Stoker. She retired from that position at age 80, having spent quite a number of years walking the two miles to work for exercise. Additionally, Dot was an avid volunteer. She was a Girl Scout leader, held many positions at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, especially on the Altar Guild and at church fairs, and also immensely enjoyed being an usher at the Little Theater of Manchester.
Dot loved many things – her family and friends, Cape Cod, gardening, entertaining, sewing, quilting, traveling, parades, lobster, humor, ballroom and polka dancing, red lipstick, and just about any opportunity to join in on some fun. She was good-natured and well loved.
Dot is survived by her daughters and their husbands, Linda and Gordon Ferrin, and Marion and John McGinn. She was thrilled to become a grandmother and enjoyed her five grandchildren and their spouses, Jennifer Szall, Ted and Tara McGinn, Colleen and Rob White, Jared and Jessica Reopell, and Jaime Reopell, who was with her as she passed on. Additionally she had ten great grandchildren – Lindsey, Alyssa, Summer, Abigail, Colin, Henry, Julia, Gavin, Cooper, and Euclid. Living a long life allowed Dot to be blessed with four great, great grandchildren – Everett, Elowynn, Drew, and Eden. Dot will also be missed by her dear sister-in-law, Carol Fiaschetti, and many cousins, nieces and nephews, and friends.
The bonus blessing of Dot’s long and happy life was the arrival of Bridget Bediako five and a half years ago. Bridget was Dot’s devoted and loving caretaker, allowing Dot to be able to stay in her home. Without Bridget’s dedication, staying home would not have been an option. The family will be eternally grateful. Dot’s neighbor, Alan Watson, also provided her with friendship, laughter, and support for her last ten years.
Dot’s life will be celebrated on March 4, 2023 at 11:00am at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 41 Park St. in Manchester. In lieu of flowers, donations to St. Mary’s would be welcomed.
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