LAKEVILLE – It is with great sadness that the family of Dorothy M. Wilkins announce her passing on Nov. 11, 2021, at the age of 95 years.
She was born Jan. 26, 1926, in Jacksonville, Fla., to the late Walter C. and Amy N. Meyer. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husband, Maurice Dean Wilkins; her brother, Walter “Bus” Meyer; and sister, Betty Jane Lindsey. She is survived by her daughter, Diane (Scott Kuchman) Wilkins of Phoenix, Ariz.; son, Kurt Wilkins of Lakeville; a niece and nephew; several great-nieces and great-nephews; cousins; and many dear friends in the Livonia Community.
Dorothy was born in Florida but came to Lakeville as an infant and remained there her entire life.
She accomplished and enjoyed much in her long and productive life. Over the years she was involved with several local programs and worked on many committees. She was a lifelong member of the Lakeville United Church of Christ, and tried never to miss a Sunday service. Active in politics for many years with the Livingston County Republican Party, she served as a county committeewoman, campaigning for candidates and encouraging voting. Election Day usually found her working the polling places. She became a charter member of the National Warplane Museum where she happily combined her love of aviation and World War II. Here she had the good fortune to fly in many historic aircraft – with her ultimate flight being in a P51 Mustang. In 2016, she was proud and honored to be named Senior Citizen of the Year for the Town of Livonia.
She was always an ambitious woman. After her husband died and her children grew up, she opened up a beauty shop in her home and worked as a hairdresser at Conesus Lake Nursing Home for 24 years before she closed her shop and retired from the profession.
While most people think of retiring as slowing down, not Dorothy. She began a new career at the age of 72. She was appointed Livonia Town Historian in 1998 and worked two days a week at the Livonia Historical Museum until her second retirement in November 2017. With her extensive knowledge of hometown history, it was a job she was well-suited for. Researching the area’s bygone days and people was interesting to her and she often wrote stories for local newspapers.
She was passionate about history, especially World War II history, and kept a collection of books and references in her home that would put most libraries to shame.
Dorothy was a beautiful, strong, classy, bright, stubborn, fun-loving, hard-working, fiercely independent and occasionally irreverent woman. As all that knew her would attest to, she held fast to her beliefs and always spoke her mind – whether you liked it or not.
Her greatest joys in life were her family, her friends, her beloved cats, rich chocolate cake, hot summers, stylish clothes, mashed potatoes with lots of butter, Big Band music, old movies, handsome men, good books, and Johnny Walker – not necessarily all – inclusive and not necessarily in that order.
Most of all, she loved Conesus Lake and her home in Lakeville. No matter how far away she traveled, she was always content to return to the community where she spent a lifetime.
When you think of Dorothy, celebrate the good memories you have of her. Remember that life is fragile and short and should be lived to the fullest. She will be missed more than any words could express but she will be forever in our hearts.
A memorial service and Celebration of Life will be held in the future at the Lakeville United Church of Christ, 5687 Big Tree Rd, Route 20A, Lakeville, NY. Memorial contributions in her name may be made to the Livingston County Humane Society, PO Box 233, Avon, NY 14414.
To send a condolence or share a memory, please visit www.doughertyfuneralhomes.com.