With her family by her side, on September 9, 2022, Dottie Dean of Pearl River, NY became an angel to us all as she peacefully entered Heaven.
Dottie was born and raised as Dorothy Anne Wamsley of Nyack, NY. She is survived by the love of her life and best friend Jim Dean; daughters Debbi (Phil) Donahue, Cheryl Ward, Michele (Michael) Bosco; grandchildren Michael (Katherine) Donahue, Desirae (Paul) Zagaroli, James (Kara) Donahue, Stephen (Megan) Donahue, Samantha (Ryan) Legath, James Ward, Brianne (Michael) Weiner, Patrick Ward, William Ward, Jamie Bosco, Matthew Bosco, Ryan Bosco, and Brendan Bosco; great-grandchildren Jack, Aidan, and Emma Donahue, Luca and Jake Zagaroli, Kylie and Addison Donahue, Aubrey Legath, and Dean and Olivia Weiner. Dottie also leaves behind her siblings, Belle Grasso, Elsie Peterson, Joe (Judy) Wamsley, Janice Savarese, George (Rosie) Wamsley, and John (Cheri) Wamsley; sister-in-law Helen Dean-Marino, brothers-in-law Charlie (Marie) Goyette and Jerry (Gloria) Goyette; and many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. Dorothy is predeceased by her parents George and Florence (Maiorano) Wamsley; her sisters, Florence Wagner, Fifi Lankau, and Kathleen Wamsley. Her brothers-in-law Riccardo Marino, Joe Grasso, Charlie Lankau, Dick Peterson, and Art Wagner. Her son-in-law James Ward; and nephews James (Topper) Grasso and Keith Savarese.
Dottie was born in Nyack Hospital on May 24, 1941. She was raised in Central Nyack and was a proud graduate of Nyack High School. On November 20, 1960, she married James Dean of Blauvelt, NY. Through their 61 years together, Dottie and Jim lived in Sparkill, Upper Nyack, and finally settled in Pearl River where they felt they could provide the best upbringing for their three beautiful daughters.
Dottie was a hard worker. While living in Sparkill, Dottie worked with Beeline Fashions where she organized home parties and sold clothing. Dottie consistently exceeded all sales expectations and was awarded numerous recognitions for the milestones she reached. Her success at Beeline Fashions provided Dottie and Jim the means to purchase their first home in Upper Nyack where they lived for eight years. Once Dottie moved to Pearl River her creativity took command and she founded a successful home business, A Personal Touch - Ceramics by Dottie. For a brief time, while her children attended Pearl River High School, Dottie worked as a hall monitor; we all secretly believe Dottie accepted this job so she could be certain her two oldest daughters were behaving as they should, however, it was at Pearl River High School that Dottie realized she had a special gift to offer young people, and she pursued a career at Summit School in Upper Nyack. In 1982 Dottie found her true passion as she began to work as a Teacher’s Assistant, often including one-to-one mentoring of the residential students. Dottie quickly pivoted her focus and assumed the role of Librarian at which time she was able to solely focus her efforts on programming which promoted self-awareness. As Dottie created strong bonds with the students, she extended her regular workday and developed a thriving afterschool activity and volunteer program. Dottie nurtured the students at Summit School, her love for them was unconditional which in turn provided mutual respect and admiration.
Throughout Dottie’s work experiences, she was actively involved in organizations that were dear to her and her family including Girl Scouts of America, the Nyack Jayceens, the Pearl River Park & Activity Committee, and Keep Rockland Beautiful. Dottie created and maintained several Adopt-a-Spot locations within the Town of Orangetown, but the spot providing her the most pride was the Robins Nest in Pearl River where her love of pretty gardens will continue to grow.
In 2012 Dottie’s failing health forced her to retire and give up many of her passions. Over the past ten years, Dottie navigated the ups and downs with incredible strength and dignity, and her love for her family gave Dottie the ability to fight through the more difficult times. Dottie never gave up; she was a true fighter to the very end.
To celebrate Dottie’s life, you are welcome to join her family on Thursday, September 15, 2022, from 3:00 PM – 8:00 PM at Hannemann’s Funeral Home, Nyack, NY. Mass will be offered on Friday, September 16, 2022, at 11:00 AM at St Ann’s Church, Nyack, NY. Dottie’s final resting place will be Rockland Cemetery, Sparkill, NY.
To honor Dottie, we encourage donating to Keep Rockland Beautiful, http://keeprocklandbeautiful.org, so her desire to beautify the Town of Orangetown through the Adopt-a-Spot program may continue to grow in her memory; or to the Pearl River Park & Activity Committee – Firework Fund.
03:00 PM - 08:00 PM
NYACK, NY 10960
NYACK, NY 10960