Dorothy LaVonne Mays obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Dorothy LaVonne Mays

February 17, 1926 - February 26, 2017

Obituary


Dorothy (Dot) Mays died peacefully in her home in Puyallup, Washington on Sunday, February 26 at the age of 91. The family is grateful for the loving kindness and care extended to Dorothy by Amber Hall in her final few months, and to caregivers Laura Hendricks and Lori Titus of Lutheran Community Services Northwest for thirteen months and nineteen months respectively. Thanks also to Franciscan Hospice for their invaluable guidance through the last seven weeks.

Dorothy is survived by her two sons, James E. Mays Jr. and his wife Mary of Auburn, and...

Dorothy (Dot) Mays died peacefully in her home in Puyallup, Washington on Sunday, February 26 at the age of 91. The family is grateful for the loving kindness and care extended to Dorothy by Amber Hall in her final few months, and to caregivers Laura Hendricks and Lori Titus of Lutheran Community Services Northwest for thirteen months and nineteen months respectively. Thanks also to Franciscan Hospice for their invaluable guidance through the last seven weeks.

Dorothy is survived by her two sons, James E. Mays Jr. and his wife Mary of Auburn, and Howard T. Mays (Hank) and his wife Cheryl of Puyallup, and son-in-law Carl Markon of Homer, AL; grandchildren Wesley A. Mays (Andy) and his wife Dawn of Tacoma, Christy Mays Johnson and her husband Kelly of Woodinville, Trevor Mays and his wife Krissy of Seattle, Travis R. Mays and his wife Leslie of Gig Harbor, Tyler J. Mays and his wife Jessica of Graham, Cory S. Mays of Puyallup; great-grandchildren Kiera, Tanner, Emma, Andelynn and Katelyn; step-grandchildren Patrick Comen and Kyle Comen of Puyallup; also surviving are nieces Karen, Gina and Connie of Carson, WA, and Cindy of Portland, as well as Valerie, Sam, Katie, Julie, Rick, Gail and Donna on her husband's side. She is preceded in death by her parents, two sister's Norma & Laura, her husband of 63 years, James E. Mays Sr., and her daughter Sandra Mays Markon.

Dorothy was born on February 17, 1926 in Portland, Oregon to Andy and Edith Junor. She graduated from Stevenson High School in Stevenson, WA in 1944. She married James E. Mays in 1945, whom she had met in high school, when he was home on leave from the Navy. Jim and Dorothy planned to enjoy at least four years of married life before starting a family. Their first child, Sandra Jeanette, was welcomed in February of 1949. James Earl, Jr. arrived in March of 1955 and Howard Travis in May of 1958. After starting their married life in Redmond, Oregon and living for short periods in The Dalles, Spokane and Pasco, the family settled in Des Moines, Washington in 1962, which was home to Dorothy for over 49 years. During her time in Des Moines, she traced the Mays family lines back nine generations while still honoring her father's Scotland heritage. Dorothy favored everything Scottish.plaid, thistle, shortbread cookies, Christmas morning Codfish and Robert Burns.

Dorothy and Jim co-managed several remodeling projects in their home; virtually every room was changed at one time or another. They also enjoyed restoring old cars and being part of the Antique Automobile Club of America, taking their turn in leadership and hosting roles. Dorothy sewed and created interiors for at least four Hudsons, two Dodges and a Plymouth. All were cars which Dot and Jim had previously owned. Dorothy loved to tell the story of how her husband was able to purchase a new Hudson after the war. Of course, things like the bumpers, the back seat and so forth had to be added ala carte along the way, as they purchased it without any of those "frills"!

Dorothy's children knew her as a stern, but fun-loving and supportive mother. Her working life consisted of receptionist duties in what she called a "three bed hospital" in Redmond, time as a hair stylist in The Dalles and then, again administrative assistance for Borden's Chemical, Federal Old Line and State Farm Insurance companies, always on a part-time basis so that she could be home when the children got home from school.

Together, Jim and Dorothy attended all but two of the 26 annual reunions of his shipmates aboard the USS Solace, AH-5, which had been at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked and was World War II's most decorated hospital ship. They came to cherish these friends and experiences that brought them together in cities all over the US. The couple played host to two of these functions: Seattle in 1991 and Portland in 2005. Along with her family she was able to host one last hurrah at Cedarbrook Lodge in Sea Tac in 2014. The final reunion for the few remaining shipmates and spouses, all in their nineties, took place in Minneapolis in September of 2016. Dorothy was able to attend and enjoy, which was truly a blessing.

All her life, Dorothy was known for her love of gardening, cooking and hosting. She wholeheartedly believed in pruning and taming the things she grew, and her yard and grounds were a testament to the success of her methods. Seemingly, nothing was out of control or "let go". A yard that was "let go" was not something she admired! Her yard was a place she enjoyed hosting family and friends. She enjoyed the sunny seasons best, always, and spent as much time as she could manage in any sunny day, outdoors.

One of the many family events that the entire Mays family enjoyed was an annual trip to the Pacific Ocean. Razor clam digging, kite flying, rock painting and beach fires were just few of the activities that were enjoyed. This tradition started in shortly after Dot and Jim were married and continued into the 21st century.

In 2011 Dorothy made the decision to move to Puyallup, where she lived with family and became part of the neighborhood, the church and all-the goings on of kids, in-laws, grandkids and great grandkids. She was a trooper! She helped in the house, in the yard, attended events, assisted with cooking and dishes; Dorothy was one who liked to earn her keep!

I think a very fitting "last word" for this story, although so many, many more could be written, is something Dorothy often said, with her beautiful smile. She would sum up her thoughts and memories of the twists and turns of the years' events, some pleasurable, some not so much, with these words:

"That's.life!"


Arrangements entrusted to Bleitz Funeral Home of Seattle, Washington.