Ninety-one years ago I was given this most magnificent gift of life, and now the time has come for me to return it. But a little about myself before I say my final good-bye... I grew up on a farm in Clearbrook. Everyone worked hard, life was wonderfully simple and my brother, Elmer "Buzz" Watson, and I delighted in practical jokes with our friends and life lessons you can only learn through nature, hard work and the goodness of others. Buzz and I fiercely competed with each other while we were growing up. Not long ago he beat me to the ultimate finish line and passed. His children Rebecca and Gary miss him very much. I attended Bellingham High School and on one of my weekend outings with friends I met Victor Roeder, who some girls considered A Catch. We married when I was just out of high school and only 17, (he was 21) but that's how they did it back then. My husband enlisted in the Army Air Corps shortly thereafter and became a pilot, which began our journey together to places big and small, in the states and abroad. Over the years I developed many enduring friendships, which always included good conversation, laughter, music and chilled martinis. Unfortunately, most of those friends have since passed but I believe that I am now enjoying their company somewhere in the universe, picking up just as we left off. Isn't that fine? After my husband retired we settled down in California but eventually I found myself missing Bellingham and moved back in 1985. After a few years on The Lake I decided to move to Sudden Valley. With the help of a local architect, and despite the fact I had no formal design training, we created a beautiful home set on a hillside and surrounded by streams, wildlife and greenery. I was always quietly proud of my home and everyone who visited shared my love of it and the surrounding nature. I was fortunate to have been able to stay in my house that I deeply loved, something I am very grateful for. But what I have always considered my biggest accomplishment in life are my four (self described) wonderful children: Cristine, the quiet one with the kindest of souls, lover of animals and now the happy owner of my beloved dog Charlie; Catherine, a professional but unpaid worrier, world traveler and wandering spirit; Eric, the corporate lawyer, boating enthusiast, devoted husband to Gretchen and doting father to his two daughters Rachel and Renee; and finally my youngest, Aaron, whose gentle nature, humor, artistic talent and generosity have endeared him to everyone he meets. All of my children have made their own unique mark on this world and I couldn't be more proud of each of them. I so hope that my passing isn't causing them too much pain, even though I know they are grieving now. In my final days I told them to take comfort in the fact that it was time for me to go and because we are a close family I know they will bond together and somehow turn their sadness into strength, each in their own time and way. Before my passing I warned them I'd be watching over them always; after all, that's what parents do, even if it's from "above." I loved them so much and know they loved me. And If I could live my life over again, and who knows, maybe I will, I wouldn't change a thing. A celebration service for Dorothy will be held October 7th at 6 p.m. at the Bellingham Shambahla Center across from Meridian Haggen.
The Guest Book is expired.
Published in Bellingham Herald on Oct. 4, 2016