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Friday, November 17, 2023
10:00 - 11:00am (Eastern time)
Friday, November 17, 2023
11:00am - 12:00pm (Eastern time)
Dorothy Lee Wildfong, age 94, loving wife. mother, grandmother, great grandmother and dear friend to many passed away peacefully November 11, 2023 at Kalkaska Memorial Eden Center.
Dorothy was born March 14, 1929 in Greenup Co., KY the daughter of Archie and Ethel (Martin) Alexander. She attended Mancelona Public Schools K-11 and was very poor in her early life. She had no shoes to walk the 4 miles to school and back at 5 years old, so not always making it to class; she had to do K twice. Growing up her family followed logging camps and lived on public assistance although they worked hard on the “farm”.
At seventeen Dorothy met Robert Wildfong Sr, and married him two weeks before she turned 18 on March 1, 1947. They were best friends, business partners, and lovers to the end. Together they opened up Bob’s Auto Service where he did the dirty work and she did the business books and banking. She also did the running around to get parts and paint, always going WAY over the speed limit her entire life!
Dorothy had a fiery temperament, loud cackling laugh, and off color sense of humor! She was proud of her Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren especially any athletic, academic, or financial achievements. She REALLY loved to prepare family dinners, for her and dad and their 25 intermediate clan at holidays, and outdoor picnics. The family loved all that food and also it was special to look forward to being with cousins. For her entire life, Mom wanted to keep family together. It was important to her.
She also REALLY loved to decorate for holidays, especially outside. She enjoyed getting community awards for Christmas decorating. She enjoyed getting recognition for floats entered in the National Bass Festival Parades and even at the Eden Center, her bedroom door had a seasonal wreath. Dorothy was proud of her yard and house and personal belongings especially because she had very little growing up which helped her value her things. She appreciated all they had and worked hard to make them last. She was especially proud of her net worth and financial holdings (This sounds odd to mention, but she loved bragging how well she and dad had done and that she was in charge of that large estate). Dad and her made a great team working hard, sharing goals, and really able to talk, talk about anything….they never seemed to run out of things to talk with each other about.
Dorothy bowled on a ladies team when she was 35, it was unusual as she was unskilled and shy. Her first year average was 97. She bowled for years after ending with an average of 147. The only thing she disliked was smelling like cigarette smoke. She tolerated dogs as family pets if they were hunters. Her favorites were Mike the Dog & Duke . She disliked cats with a vengeance because her sisters tormented her by throwing cats on her back. She did overcome some of that feat by allowing us to have cats once in a while as long as they stayed outside. She would go with the family fishing, berry & mushroom picking, and Sunday drives. Dad said she was great at both.
She loved to can foods in the early days after tending a large garden. She would also can suckers and venison, yum. Many times she went to Canada fishing with Bob Sr. & Jr, Later on with Grandchildren, Brian, John, Andy, Eric, and Derek.
Dorothy loved to attend Bob Jr.'s football events while in HS, College, and as a coach at Central Lake HS. She was very proud of him and his family. Mom and Dad also went to most all of their other grandchildren’s sporting and school events. Leigh would tell them she always searched the crowd before the game to find their faces
Over the years she babysat for all the grandchildren at some time in their lives. Especially Andre’. They loved him and also took him with them so their daughter, Diane, could have some respite. Mom loves him so much even now when she remembers so little because of the Alzheimer’s, she always asks about Buckshot. (Andre).
Surviving are her children Coleen Wildfong, Diane Wildfong, daughter in law Sandra Wildfong, grandchildren John Wildfong (Karen), Andy Sander (Honey), Brian Wildfong (Tonya), Eric Sander (Melissa), Leigh Roehm (Evan), Andre' Dalton, eleven great grandchildren, and multiple great-great grandchildren, and passels of nieces & nephews. She is also survived by wonderful neighbors Brent, Maureen, Jason, & Ryan and the last of her very good friends; Cate Schepperly. Arthela Grody, Marion Grody, and Lil Avery all preceded her. She often had the gaggle of ladies over for lunch or snack. They’d talk and laugh together.
Dorothy is also preceded in death by her husband Robert Sr. and son Robert Jr., grandson Derek Dalton, parents, siblings Willie, George, Arthur, Irene, Eunice, Olive, Dorla, and Betty.
Funeral services will be held Friday, November 17 at 11 a.m. at the Mancelona Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes with Leigh Roehm presiding. Interment will follow in Fairview Cemetery, Mancelona. The family will receive friends from 10 a.m. until the time of service. Memorial contributions can be given to the Central Lake Football Program.
The family would like to extend their deep appreciation to the staff at the Eden Center Long Term Memory Unit. They were loving and professional to Dorothy and the family during her stay. Arrangements are under the care of the Mancelona Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes. Please sign her online guestbook www.mortensenfuneralhomes.com.