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  • "Dotty, your tireless energy was an inspiration---to me and..."
    - ann kurzius
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June 14, 1921 - June 29, 2012  

Dorothy "Dotty" Elliott Petrullo, of Alexandria, VA, passed away peacefully in her sleep on June 29 at her home at Goodwin House. Dotty was born in Ellwood City, PA. She graduated from Goucher College in 1942 and married Naval Academy graduate Jerry Miller. As a Navy wife, Dotty mastered the art of "adjusting," which became her lifetime mantra. Dotty was a wonderful "service wife" in part because she loved people and loved traveling. Dotty was known for her generosity of spirit, which helped drive her passion for helping newcomers "adjust" to their new environments. She also had a terrific sense of humor. One of Dotty's greatest passions was the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, VA. For over 60 years, Dotty volunteered at the church, culminating in serving as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Besides being a devoted mother and wife, Dotty taught school, worked for the U.S. House Committee on Aging, and served as a technical writer. Following her divorce, Dotty married Luigi Petrullo, of Arlington, VA. She and Lu lived happily together until Lu passed away in 1992. Nearly ten years later, Dotty moved into Goodwin House. There she met Bill Hamilton, her partner for the rest of her life. She and Bill traveled often. They also loved music and sang in the Goodwin House choir.
Dotty is survived by her three children, Susan Miller of Austin, TX, Doug Miller of Colleyville, TX, and Scott Miller of Lake Balboa, CA, as well as her two daughters-in-law Cyndi Miller and Nathalie De Wulf Miller, her six grandchildren: Doug Kirchberg; Megan Hedge; Heather, Jordan, Chloe and Noah Miller; and her great-granddaughter.
Services to celebrate Dotty's life will be held at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 3 at Goodwin House, 4800 Fillmore Ave., Alexandria, VA and at 4 p.m., Thursday, July 5 at Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, VA, 4444 Arlington Blvd., Arlington, VA.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, VA or Goodwin House.

Published in The Washington Post on July 3, 2012