Dorothy Elizabeth Mayhew Ryan
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Dorothy Elizabeth Mayhew Ryan

Tallahassee - Dorothy Elizabeth Mayhew Ryan, affectionally known as Dot, was born on December 17, 1923. In her baby book her mother wrote, "Baby Dot was crawling when five months old. She could go everywhere and was never still. Laughing all the time." This described Dot for all of her life.

She was born in Tallahassee, and was christened in the Church of the Blessed Sacrament where she was a lifelong member. Dot graduated from Leon High School in 1941 and entered Florida State College for Women as an art major.

Dot taught art at FSCW for several years after graduation in 1945. She moved to Atlanta and was an interior designer for Rich's department store. Upon returning to Tallahassee she settled into her career as a cartographic engineer for the Florida State Department of Transportation. She climbed the career ladder rapidly but was held back because she didn't have an engineering degree. So, she went back to school and got the necessary credentials and became the first female Engineer supervising a statewide operation. The Dorothy M Ryan Award is presented by the Florida Department of Transportation yearly to a woman demonstrating significant degrees of excellence and being recognized as a role model for other women.

On January 19, 1957, Dot married Earl Ryan. Earl and Dot traveled extensively over the years. They built their dream home, which Dot designed, on two acres on the east side of Tallahassee.

Dot retired from the Department of Transportation in 1979 but didn't slow down one bit. She had continued using her artistic talents to paint wonderful works which were displayed in the Lemoyne Gallery. She also designed Christmas cards for Lemoyne.

Another interest for Dot was daylilies. At one time she had over 1000 daylily plants in beds in her yard. Every morning she was up with the sun to work with her flowers for a few hours before the heat of the day and the mosquitoes. She opened her gardens for public viewing a number of times. She was an active member of the Tallahassee Hemerocallis Society for many years and won numerous awards for her daylilies.

Dot was preceded in death by her father, William Worth Mayhew, Jr.; her mother, Selina Elizabeth Eggart (known as Lovie) and her husband, Earl.

Surviving Dot are her sister, Rose M. Harvey; a niece, Judy Harvey; a cousin, Nancy Rooney (Ed); and her sisters-in-law, Betty Audioun (Jensen) and Peggy Price (Jerry).

Dot life was stilled on June 23 at Tapestry on Walden. A celebration of Dot's life will be held at Culley"s on Timberlane, Monday, June 29, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. Visitation will be from 10:00 until 11:00. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to Big Bend Hospice or the charity of your choice. The family thanks the personnel at Big Bend Hospice and Tapestry on Walden for their loving care of Dot, especially since family and friends were not able to be with her due to Covid 19.

Dot was a shining light for all who knew her and will be sorely missed.






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Published in Tallahassee Democrat from Jun. 26 to Jun. 28, 2020.
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Guest Book sponsored by Culley's MeadowWood Funeral Home
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1 entry
June 27, 2020
We loved getting Christmas cards from Dot. She inspired me to draw and paint. I even did cards, knowing how I enjoyed looking at all the details and cards she made.
Sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers will be with all. She will truly be missed. She was a wonderful person to know.
Steve and Jane
Jane Holcomb
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