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1922 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Dorothy OPENSHAW Obituary
1922 - 2018 Dorothy, 95, a beautiful and gentle spirit, passed away peacefully on May 9, 2018, after a brief illness. Born in San Diego, she graduated from Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles, majoring in art and design. During World War 2, she was manager of the Western Airlines Travel Office in San Diego, arranging air transportation for shiploads of servicemen returning home from the Pacific Theater of Operations. Getting that job was an adventure in itself. Western Airlines mandated that flying was a requirement for employment. Until that time she had never flown in an airplane – and had no desire to do so. When she received instructions to take the then-longest flight – San Diego to Canada – Dorothy countered with an alternative flight – San Diego to Long Beach. She then made one excuse after another to avoid the trip, even instructing the taxi driver taking her to the airport to drive slowly, but Western held the flight until she arrived – and she finally qualified for a job that gave her great satisfaction. During her time with Western, she met and fell in love with Lt. Commander Rulon Openshaw, a handsome dentist from Los Angeles assigned to the San Diego Naval Hospital. After the war ended, they were married and moved to Los Angeles where they raised three children. In 1970, Dr. Openshaw, former Vice President of the American Dental Association, passed away and Dorothy turned her many talents and energy to civic involvement. In 1975, while serving as Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Women's Division, Los Angeles area Chamber of Commerce, she volunteered her services to the 1975 Army Ball Committee which was celebrating the bicentennial of the United States Army. The beautiful and innovative table centerpieces she designed that year led to a ten-year involvement with the event and contributed in a major way to the Army Ball being recognized as one of the most colorful formal patriotic events in the country. Talented not only artistically, Dorothy proved to be a formidable fund raiser, generating hundreds of thousands of dollars for the General Omar N. Bradley Scholarship and Education Fund. In 1981, Secretary of the Army John O. Marsh, Jr. presented her with the distinguished Patriotic Civilian Service Award. Dorothy was an avid – and vocal – sports fan, cheering her L.A. Lakers and USC Trojans. During Grand Slam tennis tournaments her friends and family knew it was pointless to phone her as she was totally engrossed in the fortunes of her favorite, Roger Federer. She is survived by her son, Rulon, and her daughters Nonnie (Steven) and Mary (Ronn). Funeral services are private. Later this summer there will be a celebration of her life.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from May 13 to May 15, 2018
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