Dorothy Frances Gray Mills Kohak

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- Dorothy Frances Gray Mills Kohak, 92, died gracefully, at peace with her life, on April 27, 2019, in her home in Prague, Czech Republic. She was preceded by death by her first husband, Warner Everett Mills, Jr. She is survived by her four children, Barry (wife- Paulie), Henry (wife-Barbara), Andrew (wife-Karen) and Susan Mills (partner-Donna Boucher) and grandchildren Hattie and Tommy, and her second husband, Erazim Kohak, and his three children Susan (husband-Richard), Mary and Katherine; as well as, lifelong friends Memory and Freddie Wright and their children, Manning, Monica and Reuben.

Dorothy had a great sense of adventure and loved life. She had slunce v jejim srdci, (a Czech idiom meaning, "sunshine in her heart") and felt that she was blessed and that "life had treated her well." She had many friends from several countries and all walks of life.

She was born in Topeka, Kansas, though always considered herself an Okie when moved shortly thereafter to Oklahoma City. Dorothy graduated from the University of Oklahoma, Norman with a B.A. degree in Psychology. During WWII she worked at Tinker Field near Oklahoma City on B-17s bound for Europe. One of the several prides of her life was having suggested to Vice Presidential candidate Hubert Humphrey, the name for the Peace Corps during a campaign dinner in Madison, Wisconsin. She was also very active in the civil rights march from Beloit to Madison following the march on Selma, Alabama. She served as a support person, driving along with the marchers, delivering food and ferrying people to and from the march. The station wagon she drove was dubbed, the "Blue Angel." She was very active in St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Beloit, and was instrumental in developing and building the columbarium at the church. Her career life included working as a social worker for Rock County Social Services, and Catholic Social Services. She, also, enjoyed her life at Beloit College, participating in many collegiate activities with Warner. She and Warner loved to visit the West, especially Rocky Mountain National Park, in Estes Park, Colorado. It was there where they had originally met while working at the Y Camp of the Rockies. Later they built their mountain home, the Hobin, in Glen Haven.

Another of the many chapters of Dorothy's life opened when at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, in Estes Park, Colorado, she met Erazim Kohak, whom she later married. She soon moved to Prague, Erazim's childhood home. This was to be her home for nearly thirty years. She and Erazim shuttled between Prague and Sharon, New Hampshire, where they had a cabin in the woods named the "The Swamp." Named, partly, after the MASH tent of the same name, and not coincidentally that it was on the Swamp Road. She and Erazim traveled extensively throughout the Czech Republic and Europe. She became a recognizable fixture in Prague with her ebullient personality and signature red parka. She became the go to person for family and friends visiting Prague; she hosted an insider's tour of Prague many times for one and all. Among her many friends were most notably Marie Caruccio, Ivana Hollerova, Jabub Trnka and Anicka Polenska who also were intimately involved in the closing days of her life.

A sentiment that reflects her life is "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." Dorothy (the meaning of her name is the "Gift of God") loved all living things. The family invites anyone who would like to plant any kind of plant as a living memory to this wonderful person.
Published in The Monadnock Ledger-Transcript on June 11, 2019
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