Dorothy ("Dottie") Gerrity, 83, of Bellaire, Michigan and Naples, Florida died peacefully and surrounded by her family on April 3, 2023. She was born Dorothy Lee Arnold on March 9, 1940 in Detroit, Michigan. She is the middle daughter of Lee Edward Arnold and Dorothy Helen Arnold. Dottie is preceded in death by her parents, her older sister Sharon Shore, and her husband Robert ("Bob") Gerrity. She is survived by her younger sister Kathy Stafford of Bellaire, her children Dan Gerrity of Seattle, Washington (Marjorie Benditt), Patrick Gerrity of Ann Arbor, Michigan (Lauren Gerrity), Neil Gerrity of Bellaire (Holly Gerrity), and Erin Fry of Dallas, Texas (Barnaby Fry). Dottie is also survived by her nieces and nephews, eight grandchildren, one great grandson, another great grandson on the way, and many dear friends and loved ones.
Dottie graduated from Poland Seminary High School in 1958 where she was a member of the National Honor Society (and was the homecoming queen). After high school, Dottie attended Michigan State University where she met Bob, who carried her luggage in for her on the first day. Dottie and Bob married on September 10, 1960 and started their family in Grand Blanc, Michigan and, later, Ann Arbor.
Dottie and Bob and their four children moved to Wooster, Ohio in 1974. At that time Dottie returned to college to earn her bachelor's degree from the College of Wooster where she was the first older student. She majored in Sociology and graduated in 1976 at 36 years old. During this time she taught English at Wooster High School and her poetry was published in several books. In Wooster, she also further developed her strong political and social justice opinions. Dottie was an avid feminist, Democrat, and supporter of the rights of women and minorities. In 1979 Dottie moved back to Ann Arbor where she began her career in the construction industry, working first on the Northbury Condominium project.
Dottie and Bob traveled the world together and made many friends along the way. They lived in São Paulo, Brazil, Lancaster, Pennsylvania and London, England before settling back in Northern Michigan and Southwestern Florida. Dottie was a consummate volunteer. She volunteered at the Deanʼs Office of Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City, Michigan and served as a volunteer at the Torch Lake Yacht Club in Bellaire for many years. Dottie went through the Greater Naples Leadership training (Class Number 2) and she spent many years volunteering in Naples including as the Chair of the Collier County Community Foundation, a Board Member of Fun Time Early Learning Academy, a Member of the Advisory Committee of First Book Collier County, a GAIN Committee Member, the Secretary of the Board of First Book of Collier County, a founding board member of CHS Healthcare Foundation, a Board Member of Collier County Chamber of Commerce, and a volunteer at the Christ Child Society of Naples. Dottie was also recognized as one of the Women of Initiative by the Women's Foundation of Collier County and received the Distinguished Leadership Award from the Greater Naples Leadership, Inc.
Dottie was happiest when she was helping others. She has been a major influence in the lives of many, especially younger people who needed an open heart, a listening ear, or even a place to stay.
A private memorial service will be held in Naples on April 8th and a Celebration of Life will be held this summer at Dottie's family home on Torch Lake. In lieu of flowers, donations in Dottie's memory can be made to the Collier County Community Foundation, 1110 Pine Ridge Road, Suite 200, Naples
, Florida 34108,
online at https://cfcollier.fcsuite.com/erp/donate/list
or the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservatory, 2846 3 Mile Rd
. N., Traverse City, Michigan 49686, online at https://www.gtrlc.org/about/support-the-work-of-the-conservancy/
Arrangements are in the care of Bellaire Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes.