Dorothy first came to Alaska in 1949 when her parents relocated from Bremerton, WA, to Valdez. She graduated from Alaska Methodist University and taught in Homer. After teaching as a missionary journeyman in the Dominican Republic she obtained a Master of Divinity degree from Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, KY.
Dorothy came home to Alaska and worked on the pipeline construction and operations until she returned to teaching social studies in the Valdez City School system. As a social studies teacher, Dorothy traveled during summer vacations and collected photos for use in her geography and history classes (Russia, Europe, and West Africa). She also broadened her social studies background with certification renewal classes in circumpolar studies, Alaska Geographic Alliance summer institutes, and developing/implementing a technology model congress program in Valdez government classes. She required her government classes to attend public meetings to learn firsthand the government process. She was instrumental in getting Valdez City Schools to require an Alaska history course for graduation in the early 1990s. She designed, implemented and taught Alaska History as a course that would allow students a solid background in working with tourists in their summer jobs.
Dorothy has been elected to the Valdez City Council and the Valdez School Board. She has served on various local and state boards including the Valdez Heritage Board, the Valdez Regional Hospital Board, and the Alaska Historical Society Board. As a lifelong resident of Valdez and Alaska, Dorothy lived through the 1964 earthquake, the 1989 oil spill, and other yearly sagas. She retired from the public school system but remains an adjunct instructor at Prince William Sound Community College.