Dorothy Frances Reese
Dorothy Frances “Dottie” (Szawczik) Reese, 89, of Burlington, VT passed away peacefully at home on August 8, 2020 surrounded by her family.
She was the wife of the late Clyde Reese and is survived by children David (Karen Barlow), Paul (Susan Wholey), Robert (Sandy Collopy), Darrell (Lisa Fedolfi); eight grandchildren, Philip, Brendan, Emily, Allison, Matthew and wife (Meredith), Kaitlin and husband (Chip Palombini), Colby, Nathan and fiancée (Sarah); three great grandchildren, Scarlet, Charlie and Emilia; and many nieces and nephews. Besides Clyde, she was predeceased by her brothers Daniel and Joseph; her half-brothers, Frank, Bill, John, half-sister Josephine, and grandson Andy.
She was born on October 10, 1930 in Erie, PA to Stanley and Jennie (Bujalski) Szawczik. Growing up in Erie, she graduated from East High School and Mercyhurst College with a degree in Biology.
Dottie, as she was known to her friends, was a fervent Catholic who lived and practiced her faith daily as a member of St. Anthony’s Church.
Dottie was a force of nature in her neighborhood, parish and community. Her trademarks were generosity, energy and lots of love. She shared her faith and love of life with everyone she met, sometimes with a dose of preaching, always with enthusiasm and a deep wish to bring joy and a smile to others. She always seemed younger than her years, and we all wished we had her energy.
She could not sit still. She loved to tend her flower gardens and was a compulsive cook and baker. Once someone admitted to enjoying her sweet potato muffins, chocolate chip cookies or angel food cake, they received another batch on birthdays or at Christmastime. When sitting in front of the TV, she was always knitting or crocheting. There are people she never met who are a little warmer because of the hats and gloves she donated to the Dismas House, Andy’s Attic, or the Christmas bazaar.
She was an artist in fabric. She was a quilter and hooked rugs. One of her rugs won the blue-ribbon “Best in Show” award at the Champlain Valley Fair. Her afghans and quilts are treasured by family and friends.
At one time when her four boys were still young, Dottie was a cub scout organizer and den mother, member of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD), worked at the school hot lunch program, was president of St. Anthony’s Home and School Association, chairman of the parish swimming classes, a volunteer with Burlington Senior Citizens, the Friends of Speech and Hearing Book Fair, Red Cross fund drives and St. Anthony’s Christmas bazaars.
Dottie was a lover. She loved life. She lived fully and was always thinking of others and what she could give. In the past few years, she said the Lord kept telling her she should not judge anyone, just love them. Two weeks before she died, she said, “the only thing that matters is how much you loved and gave of yourself to others”.
Due to the pandemic, a private Mass of Christian Burial for the family will be celebrated at St. Anthony’s Church. A celebration of life for the extended family and friends will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:
Burlington Dismas House, 96 Buell Street, Burlington, VT 05401, Andy’s Attic, 170 Apricot Street, Worcester, MA 01603 or online at andysattic.org.
Arrangements are under the care of Corbin and Palmer Funeral Home, 9 Pleasant St, Essex Jct., VT.
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