April 1, 1929 – September 23, 2021
Dorothy J. Zander-Stokes, most recently of Springfield, Oregon, died peacefully in her home of age-related causes.
She is survived by her daughter, Virginia Dimitre, granddaughters Carrie Carso-Kachakech and Amalia Iser, great-grandson Brighton Robertson, step-children Elizabeth Stokes, Margie Stokes Logan and George Stokes as well as devoted “unofficial son” Darren Maillot.
She was predeceased by two sons, Capt. Thomas Bantz and Dr. Stephen Bantz as well as her husband of 25 years, John W. Stokes.
Dottie was born in Kansas City, Missouri on April Fools’ Day 1929, fooling her mom who’d expected her on Easter. Thus the stage was set for a lifelong passion for playing April Fools’ jokes on those close to her. As a young child, Dottie showed a gift for music, and her Aunt Belle bought her music and neighbors gave her piano, organ and voice lessons.
She loved choir in school and began accompanying musicians when still young. She enjoyed performing. She earned a B.A degree at the Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, Ohio, and later her MA at the College of Music. She married Clyde Bantz at age 23, and had her first child, Stephen, later that year.
Her husband, originally a metallurgist at a mill, went on to become a MD; Dottie taught elementary school so that he could attend medical school. They moved to San Diego, CA where Clyde did his internship; they had a daughter, Virginia, while there. The family moved to Vista, CA where Clyde opened his family medical practice, and they had their last child, Thomas, soon afterwards.
Dottie was active in the community, and helped start up a school in Vista for the developmentally delayed, where music was her teaching tool. When her marriage ended after nineteen years (she liked to say that her husband “took a turn for the nurse”), Dottie moved to Three Rivers, CA with her 2 youngest children; she taught kindergarten and first grade for twelve years.
Her students still remember the wildflower song she wrote and won an award for. She brought many wonderful musical presentations to this small community. She called herself “a religious agnostic” but was always very involved with the local church choir and was the church organist in more than one community and country. She did consider herself to be a Quaker, and was active in The Friends’ Society.
She played piano and sang for many weddings and funerals and taught piano and voice. Dottie loved to help people reach their potential; altruism and environmentalism were very important to her.
She married briefly a couple of times, then finally married John Stokes, the “gentle giant” she met in Canada, and moved to Qualicum Beach, British Columbia, where she and John lived for many years. She was proud of her dual citizenship and loved Canada where she stayed for 30 years, often spending winters in Three Rivers, CA where John died in 2004. In her final years, Dottie opted to move near her family in Oregon.
Per Dottie’s wishes, no service will be held; her ashes will be scattered in Kaweah River in California and the beach in Qualicum. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Habitat for Humanity. Obituary
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