On Friday evening, July 23, 2021, under a full orange buck moon in Hamilton, Montana, Dorothy Jane Caldwell Hall Smith shed her cocoon and passed on as a butterfly to frolic with her beloved sister, Charlotte. She was 96 and lived the kind of life that could fill an epic movie. Her family history had stories of meetings with a president (Abraham Lincoln) and royalty (the future King of England). She came of age during the Great Depression and World War II. Her own life was filled with joy, tragedy, hardships, and silliness. Through it all, she remained upbeat and positive.
She was born November 3, 1924 and spent her younger years with her parents and sister on a homestead in Columbus, Montana, along the banks of the Yellowstone River. She stated once that the outhouse was the most important building on that property! Even after the family moved to Illinois, she returned every summer to the land that had stolen her heart, Montana, and eventually settled in Missoula.
She raised three strong human beings, mostly as a single mother. She was strong and proud, never accepting “charity” from anyone. She was an accomplished pianist, and taught kids to read with a combination of music and phonics. She loved tennis and became the Illinois State Tennis Champion in high school.
Her golden years were spent in Montana, relaxing and spending quality time with her children and grandchildren. A favorite treat was going to McDonald’s for hot fudge sundaes. She left a legacy of resilience, strength, and laughter that will remain with us forever.
Dorothy is survived by her three children, Ted Hall (Susan), Beth Olson (Gary), and Cheryl Brown (Steve). She is also survived by eight grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com [dokkennelson.com]