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Mary Elena Dochterman


1936 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
Mary Elena Dochterman Obituary
Mary Elena Dochterman
December 14, 1936 - August 9, 2013
Resident of Moraga
Mary Elena, wife of Clifford Dochterman, passed away with her family at her side on August 9th after a long battle with cancer. She was born on December 14, 1936, in San Francisco to Dr. and Mrs. William Washburn.
Mary Elena, a fourth-generation San Franciscan, attended Burke's School for girls. The family spent summers at Lake Tahoe, where they built the first lakefront home in Incline. They also enjoyed time in Yosemite, where early Washburn family members were instrumental in developing the Wawona Hotel and other Yosemite National Park areas.
Mary Elena attended Smith College then finished her undergraduate education at Lone Mountain College. After graduating she fulfilled her passion for children's education by becoming a teacher. She later owned and headed the Moraga Country Day School and Carden School of Moraga (now Saklan School) for 25 years. She was an active member of the Moraga Country Club, where she enjoyed tennis and golf.
Mary Elena met Cliff Dochterman, Vice President of the University of Pacific, on a blind date in 1993 and they were married a year later. He introduced her to Rotary, and she went on to become President of the Moraga Rotary Club and received Rotary International's highest honor, the "Service Above Self" Award. She volunteered in domestic and international humanitarian projects, traveling around the world numerous times with Cliff, who served as the worldwide President of Rotary International.
Some of her greatest times were spent with her daughters, Elena (Chris) Toohey of Lafayette and Karen (Mark) Orwig of Moraga, as well as her stepdaughter Claudia (William) Mennuti of Stockton and stepson Cliff (Virginia) Dochterman Jr. of Riverside. She enjoyed attending many athletic and school events of her grandchildren: Alexandra, C.J., and Jenny Toohey, Emily Orwig, and Michael and Wendy Dochterman. She had a warm sense of humor and an infectious smile, was an avid follower of local sport teams, and was always ready to plan a party for family and friends. She enjoyed international travel and had friends in every part of the world.
Mary Elena is survived by her husband, her children and grandchildren. She was predeceased by her parents and three older brothers: William, Dr. Edward, and Bradford Washburn.
A mass was held at St. Perpetua Catholic Church in Lafayette on Friday, August 16. with interment at Oakmont Memorial Park in Lafayette. A celebration of her life will be held in early September. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent in Mary Elena's name to the Moraga Rotary Foundation, P.O. Box 122, Moraga, CA 94556, or the Rotary Foundation, Polio Plus Fund, 1560 Sherman Ave. Evanston, Illinois 60201, or .

Published in Contra Costa Times from Aug. 15 to Aug. 22, 2013
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