More Obituaries for Dorothy Gutenkauf
Looking for an obituary for a different person with this name?

Dorothy Miller "Dottie" Gutenkauf

Dorothy Miller "Dottie" Gutenkauf Obituary
Dorothy "Dottie" Miller Gutenkauf

AGE: 82 • Plainfield

Dorothy "Dottie" Miller Gutenkauf, 82, a 33-year resident of Plainfield, NJ, died Tuesday, December 15, 2015 at Hartwyck at Cedar Brook. Born November 20, 1933 in New York City, she was the daughter of Frederick and Katherine Edith (Coutant) Miller (Wilcox). She graduated from Music & Art High School in 1950, and received a BA in Social Sciences from City College in 1961. She moved to Carbondale, IL where she earned an MS in Higher Education in 1964 from Southern Illinois University. She married Josef Gutenkauf that year, and soon after joined the faculty of the Sociology-Anthropology Department at Cortland (NY) State College, part of the SUNY system. While at Cortland, she was instrumental in organizing the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) in SUNY and in creating United University Professions in 1973, and was elected one of UUP's first officers. In 1976 Dottie began working for AFT as a national rep, and in 1977, she joined AFT's New Jersey affiliate, a position which she held until she retired in 1997. During her tenure at NJSFT, Dottie negotiated numerous contracts, helped to organize new locals, and created the NJSFT "NEWSL," a self-described "truncated newsletter" that won top honors for

editorial excellence as well as numerous other national

& international communications awards.

Deeply committed to progressive politics for most of her life, Dottie worked with Bayard Rustin, Michael Harrington, Norman Thomas, and many other noted political and intellectual luminaries, helped to found what is now the Democratic Socialists of America, and was instrumental in the Presidential campaigns of Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern, as well as those of numerous other local, state and national candidates. Dottie remained active in the Plainfield, NJ Democratic Party and the Progressive Caucus of the NJ Democratic State Committee, and held a seat on the Plainfield Democratic City Committee. She worked to abolish the death penalty, achieve marriage equality and keep - and later restore - Plainfield's Muhlenberg Hospital. Her dedication and commitment to civil rights, trade unionism, equality, community and social justice earned her many awards and much recognition from the Plainfield Area NAACP, Garden State Equality, the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly, the Coalition of Labor Union Women, the Women's Affirmative Action Committee, the Union Teacher Communications Association, the Union County Board of Freeholders and the City of Plainfield. In 2002, she received AFT's Albert Shanker Lifetime Achievement Award. Music was always an enormous part of her life, beginning in the 1940s and 1950s when she was a regular at the Sunday folksinging sessions in New York's Washington Square and sang with Pete Seeger in the Good Neighbor Chorus. Since 1996, she sang with and wrote lyrics for the Solidarity Singers of the NJ Industrial Union Council. She was an avid fan of classical music and Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, having produced several of their plays in her youth, and was well-respected for her poetry and prose.

She was predeceased by Joe, her husband of 48 years, and is survived by her daughter, Polly Armour and her husband Jay, of Gardiner, NY, and her son Jon Martin-Roseberry and his husband Craig of New York City. She was the beloved sister-in-law of Alice Gutenkauf of Morton Grove, IL and aunt of Diane Gutenkauf and her husband Michael Hassan, of Elmhurst, IL, and of Karen Gutenkauf of Broken Arrow, OK; grandmother of Sarah and Josh Armour; sister of Joan Hervey and Linda Geczi of Whiting, NJ; cherished friend to Rachel Stevens and Antoinette Thomas; and to her beloved canine companion Sheba. She was predeceased by her dear brother-in-law, Martin Gutenkauf, also of Morton Grove, IL. She was a friend, mentor, and inspiration to many others in her community.

At her request, her remains have been donated to the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. A memorial service is planned for the Spring. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Ocular Melanoma Foundation,, 1717 K St. NW Suite 900, Washington, DC 20006 or the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players,, 302 West 91st St, New York, NY 10024.

Published in Courier News on Dec. 19, 2015
Read More
Give others a chance to express condolences. Not right now.
Inform family & friends of Dorothy's passing.
More Information