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1927 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Brylinski, Dorothy "Dottie"

Dorothy "Dottie" Brylinski passed away on August 1, 2016. Born in 1927, Dorothy lived her earliest years on the family homestead on the east side of Timber Mountain (a.k.a. Cerro Montoso) located west of Questa and the Rio Grande Gorge in western Taos County. Dorothy was the only child of D.K. Smith and Vera Newsome who met in Taos County, married and built a home on their homestead. (See: Homesteading on Cerro Montoso on BLM website, report on NM homesteads.)

When Dorothy was two years old, the family moved north of the town of Tres Piedras, where her father built the second family home. Dorothy attended all but one year of grade school in Tres Piedras in the era when the "Chili Line" railroad still ran through town. She attended high schools in Taos, Tucumcari, Henderson, NV, and then graduated from the Ojo Caliente high school. She went to business school and worked in Santa Fe and Los Alamos. Dorothy's life-long determination and perseverance may be attributed to early life on a homestead in depression-era Taos County.

Dorothy met and married the love of her life, Peter Brylinski, an Air Force pilot while he was stationed at Kirtland Air Force base in Albuquerque after WWII. Among other things, Peter piloted a B24 in twenty-three combat missions under heavy bombardment in the European theater in 1945. He remained on active duty after WWII ended. Peter and Dorothy's only child, Marianne, was born in 1950. In 1951, Dorothy was traveling with Marianne to move to England where Peter was stationed when Dorothy was notified that her husband, then age 27, was missing, and later that all on board were killed when their military cargo plane crashed.

Dorothy left New Mexico with her daughter and lived and worked in Phoenix for a time with Dorothy's youngest sister-in-law. Eventually Dorothy returned with Marianne to Albuquerque and went to work as a medical secretary at the VA hospital, and later at the Bernalillo County Indian Hospital in the pathology department. Dorothy then enrolled in UNM's data processing program and went to work at the still "new" UNM medical school, becoming involved in the startup of an automated tumor registry to gather and submit data to the National Cancer Institute, as well as publish cancer data. Dorothy retired about 1985 after seventeen years as administrative director of the New Mexico Tumor Registry.

Dorothy raised her daughter and cared for each of her parents in their declining years. She moved to the north valley in 1976 where she lived near her daughter and pursued her interest in genealogy, among other activities and part time volunteer jobs, as long as her health permitted. Dorothy is survived by her daughter, Marianne Woodard and son-in-law, Robert Whyel. In lieu of flowers, donations to the New Mexico Genealogical Society in Dorothy's name are welcome. A simple memorial service for Dorothy will be held on Wednesday, August 17, 2016, 3:00 p.m., at FRENCH â€" University. Final interment in Tres Piedras will be at a later date. Please visit our online guestbook for Dottie at


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Published in Albuquerque Journal on Aug. 14, 2016
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