Obituaries of Dorothy Neal (1924 – 2022) – VASHON, WA



There are those who bring such great light to the world that even after they are gone, their light remains.
Dorothy, a beloved resident of Vashon Island for 71 years, began her journey to paradise on February 25 and is now united with God, her beloved husband Jim and son Jimmy. She was born in Seattle on June 9, 1924 to Louis Joseph and Hannah Murdoch Blanchard. The 2nd to the youngest in a family of ten, she was raised in a loving family where kindness and compassion were valued traits. She attended St George Catholic School & Cleveland High School and graduated in 1942 just as the United States became involved in World War II. She went to work in defense of our country at the Boeing Aircraft Co.
Dorothy met the love of her life, Jim Neal, in 1941 at her favorite dance hall, The Spanish Castle. Jitterbugging was popular at the time and both excelled at it! Two years later, in 1944, Jim and Dorothy were married at Our Lady of Lourdes in Seattle. In 1951, after purchasing Vashon Sheet Metal Works, they moved to Vashon Island with three young children, Kathy, Joe and Diane. A city girl at heart, Dorothy accompanied Kathy on her first day of school in heels and gloves. On Vashon, the family moved on to three more children, Teresa, Jimmy and Michelle.
Dorothy’s greatest joy and pride in her life was her family. Sadly, she lost her 9-month-old son, Jimmy, in 1959. She was wholeheartedly involved in her children’s lives as a Brownie & Girl Scout leader, den mother, class volunteer, president of the PTA, baseball coach and number one lawyer.
Dorothy was also a gifted artist and puppeteer. She studied puppetry with Aurora Valentinetti at UW and began a 12-year career designing and making over 250 puppets. She took her troupe (family and friends) with her Little People’s Theater and performed all over Washington and Canada.
She enjoyed gardening and was known for her green thumb and beautiful dahlias which were often shared with church and friends.
Dorothy was also a talented seamstress and knitter. She made all of her children’s ski outfits, including stretch pants, parkas, gloves, hand-knit Norwegian jumpers and matching beanies.
Dorothy and Jim loved golf and had been members of Vashon Island Golf Club since its inception. Dorothy had the honor of completing two “holes in one”. They also loved to dance, especially Scandinavian dance, and were members of the Vasa Hope Lodge. They continued their dancing at the Tacoma Elks Club throughout their lives.
Dorothy loved children and she dedicated her life to nurturing and educating them. In 1974, she began working at the Burton Learning Center. In 1979, she was hired by the Vashon School District to work in the library. While working, she also traveled to Seattle to get her college degree. She received her BA from Central Washington University in 1984. After graduating from college, she became a librarian at Vashon Grade School. She became an expert in children’s literature. She was a favorite of students and teachers alike and her library was a haven for learning all about the best books to read and projects to work on, a place where every child felt loved for their uniqueness. She made everyone feel special.
In 1994, Dorothy retired from the Vashon Island School District and joined her daughter Shelley at A Child Becomes Preschool. She was known as “Grandmother Dorothy” to all. She has created a literature curriculum for young children that includes over 50 detailed lesson plans with theories drawn from Howard Gardner’s Multiple Levels of Intelligence. She called this program Grandma Dorothy’s Children’s Literature. Each week, she read to classes from a wide selection of children’s books that she had personally chosen that kept her students wide-eyed and eagerly awaiting the handmade cookie she had lovingly made to accompany the story. She worked in nursery school for 26 years, due to retire when Covid arrived in 2020.
Dorothy is survived by her sister Irene Dufort, her five children Kathy Winge (Carl), Joe Neal, Diane Kukull (Walter), Teresa Walsh (John) and Michelle Neal (Ralph Pooler), 18 grandchildren, 22 great grandchildren -children, 6 great-great-grandchildren, as well as several nieces and nephews. She was loved and adored by all!
There will be a rosary recited at Island Funeral Services on March 24 at 7 p.m. A funeral mass will be celebrated by the Reverend David Mayovsky at St. John Vianney at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 25, followed by lunch. Interment will be Saturday morning March 26 at Calvary Cemetery in Seattle.
Keepsakes in Dorothy’s name may be sent to the Providence Mt. St. Vincent Foundation, where she was lovingly cared for during the last years of her life. 4831 – 35th Ave SW Seattle, WA 98126
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dorothy Rose Neal, please visit our Floral Shop.

Posted by ISLAND FUNERAL SERVICE on March 12, 2022.

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