Dorothy Miller Deane (1927 - 2014)

Obituary
  • "Rest in peace Mrs. Deane. I enjoyed the time spent in your..."
    - Wendy Berger
  • "Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in..."
    - Debi Guest-Bray
  • "Rest in peace, Dorothy. Thanks for bringing Karen into the..."
    - Michael Guest
  • "May God bless you and your family. You will be missed."
    - Lucy Godinez

Dorothy Deane passed away April 12, 2014 with her children and other family members at her side.

Dorothy was born January 24, 1927 in Huntington Beach, California to Sidney and Lucy Miller, and raised in Midway City with her sister Margaret ("Peggy") and brothers Louis Richard ("Dick") and William. She was one of World War II's "Rosie the Riveters" working in an aircraft factory, although in later years she confessed that sometimes the holes she drilled had to be widened to make the rivets line up so the aircraft doors could close. Upon graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara Dorothy fulfilled her childhood ambition to become a schoolteacher.

In 1952 she married Lee Deane, and in 1960 they settled in Ventura with their growing family. After a hiatus as a full-time mother and homemaker, Dorothy returned to teaching as a substitute for different local schools, soon settling into a permanent full-time position with the Rio School District. She continued to take classes and further her credentials in special education. Her colleagues remember her fierce advocacy for her fellow educators as a negotiator for the teachers' union, the go-to person for any problem or issue, and a devoted teacher and friend to her students.

After her retirement in 1992, Dorothy continued teaching on a part-time basis, and after that as an unpaid volunteer. Her husband Lee preceded her in death in 1979. Dorothy continued to live in the home they had shared, to teach, and to travel in the United States, Europe and North Africa. Without doubt her most treasured trips were those she took to visit her grandchildren, namesake Dorothy and Mathew in Nashville, and Nick and Jake in Santa Cruz. She was a passionate reader of books and lover of movies and the theater, fan of Janet Evanovich and Bill Maher, and avid follower of current events. She volunteered for John F. Kennedy's 1960 presidential campaign, and took her children to see him arrive at Point Mugu when he visited California in 1963. She later supported Bobby Kennedy's bid for the presidency, and also took her children to hear him when he spoke in Ventura in 1968.

A self-described middle-of-the-road Democrat, Dorothy was as fiercely argumentative about politics as she was on any other subject open to debate. She was also generous to any friend in need, and to the many organizations that had her on their phone and mailing lists, including public television, veterans groups, and associations for police officers and firefighters. From the time she suffered a stroke in 2009, Dorothy determinedly rallied back from a succession of illnesses and health setbacks. Until her final decline she continued to go to movies, attend plays at Ventura's Rubicon Theatre, and greet neighbors on her afternoon walks.

In the seven weeks preceding her death she alternated between hospital and convalescent care, and was finally discharged to the comfort of her home on Friday, April 11th.

Welcoming her was her beloved sister Peggy McClure of Garden Grove, and Peggy's daughters Cydney MacFarlan and Susan Severns. Soon at Dorothy's bedside were her four children, Patricia Miletich of Nashville, Karen Guest of Santa Cruz, son and caregiver for the past three and a half years Brooks, son Craig of Ventura, and grandson Mathew Miletich of South Korea. The following day she passed in perfect peace from this life to the next.

Dorothy is also survived by her granddaughter Dorothy Miletich, grandsons Nicholas and Jacob Guest, nieces Valerie Venegas of Orange and Beth Butsch of North Tustin, as well as many other much-loved extended family members. A dear friend of hers reported that when she broke the news to her son his response was simply, "The most interesting person I ever met."

Her true memorial is in our memories of her, and the family asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the charitable organization of one's choice, perhaps in Dorothy's name. Memorial arrangements are pending, and we look forward to gathering together to share the stories of our time with Dorothy, whom we all loved and will never forget.


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Published in Ventura County Star from Apr. 20 to Apr. 23, 2014
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