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Dorothy Belle Haag

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Dorothy Belle Haag, age 85, passed away peacefully on Friday, April 7, 2017, at the Kingsway Arms Nursing Center in Schenectady, NY. She was born on May 8, 1931 in Morristown, New Jersey, the daughter of the late Frederick and Hester Munger Dodson. Dorothy was a graduate of Kent Place School (1949, cum laude) and Swarthmore College (1953). She was one of three female Swarthmore math graduates recruited to work at General Electric. Dorothy worked in the Calculation Department for large steam turbines from 1953 until her marriage to Fred G. Haag in December of 1957. Throughout her life Dorothy was curious, loved learning and travel. One of her strongest childhood memories was of a birthday trip with her parents to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. She was excited to see the Egyptian exhibits, particularly the mummies. Her parents shared her love of travel as she accompanied them on a cross country trip to the National Parks of the West, including the Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon. While a Junior in college she participated in volunteer work sponsored by the World Council of Churches. A week-long boat trip across the Atlantic was followed by two months of travel to England, France, Italy and finally to Mainz-Kastel, Germany where she helped rebuild a school for apprentices. She passed this interest in travel adventures on to her daughters. Dorothy enjoyed road trips throughout her life. With her young family, she enjoyed adventures in the family's VW camper van. Fred and Dorothy visited her brother Ted and his wife Phyllis Dodson and their children, David and Anne, in New Hampshire, Florida and Maine. They drove to many folk music concerts to hear Anne and David perform in Camden, Maine. Fred and Dorothy also drove to Texas for many years to see their daughter and family; she often found interesting routes to take, such as the Natchez Trace Parkway. On arriving in Texas, they took their grandsons to interesting places, passing on the sense of curiosity and wonder to the next generation. She still enjoyed small trips with her daughters from Kingsway Nursing Home in the last years of her life. She came from a family of well educated women and instilled a love of learning on to her daughters, who both became teachers. She was the inspiration for many family outings that were fun and almost always educational and cultural: farmer, science, and art museums; historic sites; ballet and orchestra. She had many interests. She delivered for Meals on Wheels and was an active member of the Friends of the Saratoga Battlefield. A Girl Scout leader for both her daughters, she even convinced her husband Fred to be a co-leader. Her hobbies included history, genealogy, reading and knitting fun sweaters. Her daughters are grateful to have a mother who introduced them to such varied aspects of life. Dorothy Haag was shy, but once she was comfortable, she was full of fascinating facts and had a great laugh. Her special essence is difficult to describe, however, her daughters' lives are full and interesting because of the person she was. She was broadminded to different world views and was a role model for her daughters in the acceptance of others. For this, her daughters are grateful. Dorothy's daughters are thankful and appreciative for the care their Mother received while she lived in A-Wing of the Kingsway Arms Nursing Center. During her stay and especially throughout her decline over the last few weeks it was evident that Dorothy was genuinely cared for by everyone there. She was predeceased by her husband of 55 years, Fred G. Haag, her brother and sister-in-law, Ted and Phyllis Dodson. She is survived by her daughters, Catherine Haag (Philisiwe Ngidi) of Niskayuna and Ellen Nazarian (Soheil) of El Paso, Texas; grandchildren, Adam and Aaron Nazarian; and a nephew, David Dodson, and a niece, Anne Dodson of Camden, Maine. Her life will be remembered with family and friends on April 22nd. Contact Dorothy's daughters for time and place.
Published in The Daily Gazette from Apr. 14 to Apr. 16, 2017
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