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Dorothy Blackwell, 91

Dorothy Lou Blackwell died from complications due to congestive heart failure on May 3, 2013, at Friendship Village in Kalamazoo.

She was born on Feb. 22, 1922 in Burr Oak, Mich., to Joseph and Eunice (Hanson) Cowles.

Surviving are her three children, Susan Ramsey and Judith Myers of Kalamazoo and Robert Blackwell of Greer, SC; her grandchildren Elizabeth (Matt) Bird of Manhattan, Benjamin Ramsey of Chicago, Katharine (Chris) Okula of Los Angeles, Jessie Myers of Sacramento, and Andrea, Catherine, Rachel, Caroline and Samuel Blackwell of Greer; as well as her great-granddaughter Lily Bird of Manhattan; as well as many nieces and nephews of various degrees.

Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband of 21 years Lester Robert; by her parents; sisters Helen and Thelma; and brothers Elmer and Paul.

One of two girls to graduate from Burr Oak High School in her year, Dorothy went to Detroit to live with her sister Helen and met Bob roller skating. They became engaged while he was in India during World War II, and lived in Detroit during the first years of their marriage, moving to Livonia in 1962.

Left a young widow by her husband’s death from pancreatic cancer, Dorothy resolutely worked her way from retail positions to working at Stevenson High School to her ultimate position as an aide at Livonia’s Sandburg Library, putting three children through college in the process She moved to California to live with her daughter Judy in 1998, and for years maintained her interest in reading, gardening, knitting and, always, crossword puzzles.

When she fell and broke a hip in 2012 she returned to Kalamazoo, where, after various trials, she passed away the morning of May 3, She will be missed by us all.

Memorial donations in Dorothy’s honor may be made to The Burr Oak Township Library, Burr Oak, Mich. A memorial service will be held at the Burr Oak United Methodist Church at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 24, with the interment following.