HAMPTON - On Oct. 12, 2011, longtime Hampton native and resident, Dorothy Rouse-Bottom passed away peacefully at her home.
Born to the late Dorothy Rouse Bottom and Major Raymond B. Bottom, she was the second of three children. Dorothy attended primary school at the Indian River Park Elementary School and junior high at George Wythe. She attended high school at St. Anne's School in Charlottesville, Va., and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree from Sweet Briar College in 1949. That summer while serving the children of East Harlem, N.Y., as a social worker, she met her husband to be, Langdon B. Gilkey, who served as a teaching assistant at Union Theological Seminary, where Dorothy was taking classes. They were married shortly thereafter in Newport News, Va., and moved to Poughkeepsie, N.Y., where Dr. Gilkey was a professor at Vassar. The couple then moved to Nashville, Tenn., where their only son, Mark Whitney was born. The family temporarily relocated to MUnich Germany in 1961 when Dr. Gilkey received a Guggenheim to study at TUbingen University. After that Dorothy and her son moved to New York City, to be with her sister, Barbara, and her children. As a free lance book editor for Charles Scribner and Sons, and then later as staff editor at Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich, where Dorothy edited dozens of books, primarily focused on religion. In 1977 she was asked to become Assistant Editor for the Daily Press, Inc., commuting between New York and Hampton while earning a Master's Degree from Columbia University in 16th-century English history. She became Editor of the Editorial Page in 1983, and served on the Daily Press, Inc. Board of Directors, until the paper, and cable companies were sold to the Tribune in 1986. During that time Dorothy and her husband, John Duffy, a noted musician and composer, purchased and restored two turn of the century homes in Hampton. After the sale of the family business, Dorothy put her energies into her love of community and history. She served on the Boards of many organizations devoted to preserving the unique history, culture, and environment of Hampton Roads, some of which include the Mariners' Museum, Christopher Newport University, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Hampton History Museum, the Rouse Bottom Foundation, the Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, the Virginia Opera and the Virginia Symphony. Dorothy was a tireless advocate of Citizens for a Fort Monroe National Park. To commemorate Hampton's origins, Dorothy organized two conferences to mark the 400th anniversaries of the construction of Fort Algernoune at Old Point Comfort and the sacking of the Kecoughtan village. Forever a lover of books, Dorothy was an avid collector of early Virginiana, most of which has been donated to CNU. As founder of Port Hampton Press, Dorothy published several noted local histories. At home, among her many passions were showing Portuguese Water Dogs of which she had 3 national champions, sailing small sloops, gardening in her rose garden, and sharing the natural beauty of Tidewater Virginia.
In addition to her first husband, Dr. Langdon Gilkey, Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents, Major Raymond B. Bottom, former President and Publisher of the Daily Press newspapers, (1931-1953) and Dorothy E. Bottom, former Editor and Vice President of the Daily Press, (1954-1977); a sister, Barbara A. Forst, former Assistant Business Manager of the Daily Press, (1979-1986).
She is survived by her cherished son, Mark Whitney Gilkey of San Francisco, Calif., his wife, Laura, and their daughter, Sofia; her former husband, John Duffy; her stepdaughter, Maura Duffy of Taranta, Italy, and her son, Antonio Bergamini of Miami; her brother, Col. Raymond B. Bottom Jr., of Hampton; nephew, Matthew Forst of Brooklyn, N.Y.; niece, Fernande Sommers of Clyde, N.C., and her son, Shanti Sommers of Seattle; nephew, Jesse Forst of Manhattan, his wife, Claudia, and their sons, Vincent and Nicholas; cousins, Davis and Earl Bottom, Virginia Hazel Beninghove all of Richmond, Va.; Marge Raney and Pat Delany of Charlottesville; other cousins include Martha Bradshaw of Williamsburg; Billy Rouse of Northern Neck; Randy Rouse of Fairfax, Va.
A memorial service is scheduled on Oct. 17, at 11 a.m. at St. John's Church, Hampton.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Daily Press Holiday Fund 2011. Contact the Daily Press at 757-247-4600 or visit http://www.dailypress.com/news/dp-holidayfund,0,1757740.htmlstory
Arrangements are under the care of R. Hayden Smith Funeral Home at 245 South Armistead, Hampton, Va. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at dailypress.com/guestbooks.