Dorothy S. Brownell, 96, of 6 Hillcrest Ave., formerly of 4 Norton Ave., Jamestown, passed away at 1:25 a.m. Friday, April 18, 2014, at the home of her daughter, where she had resided for the past several years.
An area resident for most of her life, she was born March 11, 1918, in Salamanca, N.Y., a daughter of the late Dennis Francis and Mary E. Redner Sullivan.
She earned her bachelor's degree from Buffalo State College and also graduated from the Rochester School for Dental Hygienists in Rochester, N.Y.
Before her retirement in 1976, she was a dental hygiene teacher at the Westfield Academy and Central School for 20 years. In earlier years, she taught at the Keating, Pa., township school district and also worked for Dr. Ray Robinson, DDS in Westfield, N,Y.
She was a communicant of St. James Catholic Church, where she served as a eucharistic minister since 1986 and was a member of the Southern Chautauqua County Retired Teachers Association, the Westside Women's Club and a former member of Seniors and Lawmen Together (SALT).
Following her retirement, Dorothy began her long and storied career as an active volunteer for several organizations in Chautauqua County. She spent many hours volunteering with the Retired Senior Volunteer Program at the St. Susan Center Soup Kitchen, United Way of Chautauqua County, Chautauqua County Veterans Listing Project and the St. James Thrift Shop. She served as an ombudsman for long-term care at the former Manor Oak Nursing Home and was a senior staff volunteer for Congressman Amo Houghton's 31st Congressional District office for seven years. She was also a past president and legislative chairperson for the Local Chapter 334 of the American Association of Retired Persons, where she received the Helping Hand Award. She also served two terms as president of the United Senior Council of Chautauqua County and was a former board member of the New York State Senior Action Council. She was a past member of the advisory council of Retired Senior Volunteer Program and the Foster Grandparent Program and was active with the Catholic Charities' outreach for the aging.
During her years of volunteering, she received several awards including Caregiver of the Year in 1990 by the Office of the Aging Division of Veteran Affairs, Outstanding Service to Community Award by the National AARP, Chautauqua County Service Award, Senior Citizen of the Year Award in 1989 by the Office of the Aging, and the New York State Legislative Achievement Award on behalf of the New York State Senate and Assembly standing committees on aging. She also won a silver medal for swimming in the 1990 Senior Olympics.
Surviving are her twin daughters: Bonnie M. (Steve) Maggio, with whom she made her home in Jamestown, and Susan G. "Sudzie" Brownell of Purcellville, Va.; two grandchildren: Christopher (Mary) Maggio and Jeremy (Heidi) Maggio both of Jamestown; four great- grandchildren: Sydney, Gavin, Chase and Emily Maggio; and her beloved West Highland Terrier dog, "Dooley."
She was preceded in death by her husband, James Paul Brownell, whom she married Nov. 26, 1942, and who died July 7, 1986; two brothers: Leonard and Irving Sullivan; and a sister, Mildred Gregory.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Tuesday in St. James Catholic Church. The Rev. Darrell G. Duffy, pastor, will be celebrant. Burial will be in the Wildwood Cemetery, Salamanca, N.Y.
Friends will be received from 6-9 p.m. Monday in the Lind Funeral Home, where a Christian Wake Service will be led at 8:45 p.m. Monday.
Memorials may be made to the St. James Catholic Church Music Ministry, 27 Allen St., Jamestown, NY 14701 or Hospice Chautauqua County, 20 W. Fairmount Ave. Lakewood, NY 14750.
You may light a candle in remembrance of Dorothy at www.lindfuneralhome.com.