HAMPTON - On Oct. 12, 2011, longtime Hampton native and resident, Dorothy Rouse-Bottom passed away peacefully at her home.
Born to the late Dorothy Rouse Bottom and Major Raymond B. Bottom, she was the second of three children. Dorothy attended primary school at the Indian River Park Elementary School and junior high at George Wythe. She attended high school at St. Anne's School in Charlottesville, Va., and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree from Sweet Briar College in 1949. That summer while serving the children of East Harlem, N.Y., as a social worker, she met her husband to be, Langdon B. Gilkey, who served as a teaching assistant at Union Theological Seminary, where Dorothy was taking classes. They were married shortly thereafter in Newport News, Va., and moved to Poughkeepsie, N.Y., where Dr. Gilkey was a professor at Vassar. The couple then moved to Nashville, Tenn., where their only son, Mark Whitney was born. The family temporarily relocated to MUnich Germany in 1961 when Dr. Gilkey received a Guggenheim to study at TUbingen University. After that Dorothy and her son moved to New York City, to be with her sister, Barbara, and her children. As a free lance book editor for Charles Scribner and Sons, and then later as staff editor at Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich, where Dorothy edited dozens of books, primarily focused on religion. In 1977 she was asked to become Assistant Editor for the Daily Press, Inc., commuting between New York and Hampton while earning a Master's Degree from Columbia University in 16th-century English history. She became Editor of the Editorial Page in 1983, and served on the Daily Press, Inc. Board of Directors, until the paper, and cable companies were sold to the Tribune in 1986. During that time Dorothy and her husband, John Duffy, a noted musician and composer, purchased and restored two turn of the century homes in Hampton. After the sale of the family business, Dorothy put her energies into her love of community and history. She served on the Boards of many organizations devoted to preserving the unique history, culture, and environment of Hampton Roads, some of which include the Mariners' Museum, Christopher Newport University, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Hampton History Museum, the Rouse Bottom Foundation, the Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, the Virginia Opera and the Virginia Symphony. Dorothy was a tireless advocate of Citizens for a Fort Monroe National Park. To commemorate Hampton's origins, Dorothy organized two conferences to mark the 400th anniversaries of the construction of Fort Algernoune at Old Point Comfort and the sacking of the Kecoughtan village. Forever a lover of books, Dorothy was an avid collector of early Virginiana, most of which has been donated to CNU. As founder of Port Hampton Press, Dorothy published several noted local histories. At home, among her many passions were showing Portuguese Water Dogs of which she had 3 national champions, sailing small sloops, gardening in her rose garden, and sharing the natural beauty of Tidewater Virginia.
In addition to her first husband, Dr. Langdon Gilkey, Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents, Major Raymond B. Bottom, former President and Publisher of the Daily Press newspapers, (1931-1953) and Dorothy E. Bottom, former Editor and Vice President of the Daily Press, (1954-1977); a sister, Barbara A. Forst, former Assistant Business Manager of the Daily Press, (1979-1986).
She is survived by her cherished son, Mark Whitney Gilkey of San Francisco, Calif., his wife, Laura, and their daughter, Sofia; her former husband, John Duffy; her stepdaughter, Maura Duffy of Taranta, Italy, and her son, Antonio Bergamini of Miami; her brother, Col. Raymond B. Bottom Jr., of Hampton; nephew, Matthew Forst of Brooklyn, N.Y.; niece, Fernande Sommers of Clyde, N.C., and her son, Shanti Sommers of Seattle; nephew, Jesse Forst of Manhattan, his wife, Claudia, and their sons, Vincent and Nicholas; cousins, Davis and Earl Bottom, Virginia Hazel Beninghove all of Richmond, Va.; Marge Raney and Pat Delany of Charlottesville; other cousins include Martha Bradshaw of Williamsburg; Billy Rouse of Northern Neck; Randy Rouse of Fairfax, Va.
A memorial service is scheduled on Oct. 17, at 11 a.m. at St. John's Church, Hampton.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Daily Press Holiday Fund 2011. Contact the Daily Press at 757-247-4600 or visit,0,1757740.htmlstory.
Arrangements are under the care of R. Hayden Smith Funeral Home at 245 South Armistead, Hampton, Va. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at

Published by Daily Press from Oct. 13 to Oct. 15, 2011.
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17 Entries
A bright spirit, never forgotten, who lights up my memories.
John Brown
October 9, 2020
Hail to a bright spirit whom I shall never cease to remember with loving admiration.
John Brown
October 28, 2011
I want to offer my deepest condolences to Whitney, john and the family. I became very fond of Ms. Dorothy and miss her very much. May you find peace in the days a months to come knowing one of the sweetest Angeles that once walked this earth is now flying in heaven.
Roxanne Hardrick
October 23, 2011
My good fortune during my youth was to meet Dorothy when she was married to my Uncle Jack Duffy. She had that lovely, true blue classy manner and brilliant and creative mind that held me in awe. I grew to adore my "Aunt Dot." My Uncle Jack and Aunt Dot were living near Lincoln Center and Central Park West when I went to visit them and my cousin Maura. We had stimulating conversations and I heard all about the constant creative works Uncle Jack and Aunt Dot were pursuing.
At a family party, a couple of years later I saw my Aunt Dot! I was thrilled because of her warm, friendly Southern manner and charm. She always made me feel loved. She was telling me that she was considering applying to Graduate school for a degree in History. She felt that as a professional writer knowing the "complete history" was the essential of rich. accurate story telling - the historical discipline only fortifying one's ability to bring information to the story by using history producing the best focus and great research abilities.

Aunt Dot was a delightful, beautiful, rare joy to know and appreciate her endless great writing and work. No doubt she was a Renaissance Woman. A woman with a strong love that lives forever.
Deirdre Duffy
October 23, 2011
To Whit and family,
Dorothy was a beautiful person and a joy to be around and always warmhearted and loving, she was a very special lady, and a dear friend, she was family to us too. Our lives forever changed and we will miss her terribly. We have so many special memories of her to cherish. She is one of God's angels. And our hearts go out to you and your family at this time and in the days ahead.

Sincerely & Lovingly,

Adisa Ajamu & Family
Adisa Ajamu
October 22, 2011
My warmest condolence to the family. I only knew Ms. Bottom for a short time as a care taker for her, and I truley enjoyed every moment I had the honor to spend with her. She will be missed by many.
LaTonya Mason
October 16, 2011
As I grew up, I heard my father, Parke Rouse, speak so fondly of his cousin Dorothy. Eventually my path crossed Dorothy's, as I found my way into the wonderful world of publishing and book design. Dorothy was a terrific mentor, client, and friend, but mostly I saw her as a big sister: older but never parental; almost a co-conspirator in "our" effort to create and distribute really good, intelligent, sometimes esoteric, books that told important stories to the reader who paid attention! Dorothy was warm, funny, self-effacing, brilliant, kind and utterly generous. A sweet friend and a strong model for me. She will be sorely missed, and her hard efforts to make the world a better, smarter, kinder place will always inspire me.
My deepest condolences to Raymond, Whit and John, and all the others who knew and loved knowing Dorothy.
Marshall Rouse McClure
Marshall McClure
October 15, 2011
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
Shelly CCOHR-RMG Dr. Edwards office
October 15, 2011
Ray, my sincere condolences on the loss of your dear sister Dorothy. What a great woman she was, and her impact on so many lives will truly stand as a testament to how she really did make the world a better place. May warm memories bring you comfort.
Debbie Eliason
October 15, 2011
To the Family of Dorothy Rouse-Bottom
My warmest condolences to you all. Andy and I will never forget how easily it was to talk to Dorothy. So in 1986 when she bought the Morgan 24 called the Virginia H. she was just reacquainted with the Etheridge family. My maiden name was Virginia Etheridge Hitch. Mary Stewart Etheridge was my father's first cousin and Dorothy's roomate at Sweetbriar. Her Brother Dr. James (Jimmy) E. Etheridge also died this spring due to along illness with lung cancer. May they all have the peace of our lord with them in heaven. The last time I saw her on the water was at the Ida Lewis Regatta in her motor boat. She hailed me and talked of dresses made for her and her sister in Norfolk, Va. for her debutant dances. I also made my bow in a white dress in 1971 at the Chamberlin Hotel. If we meet on Monday please say hello. St. John's will be full of her friends and admirers. Love, Andy and Virginia Hitch Armstrong
Charles A. and Virginia H. Armstrong
October 15, 2011
Our heartfelt sympathy to your family. We hope you find comfort in knowing you are in the heart and prayers of all your friends.
Bill and Debbie Vaccarelli and Staff, Danny's Deli
October 15, 2011

I was saddened to learn of your sister's passing and wanted to pass along my sincerest condolences to you, knowing how close you were to her. While I never had the pleasure of meeting her, after reading her very impressive obituary, it is clear she lived an incredibly active, fruitful life, giving her talents to so many worthy causes. What a lady she must have been !

You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Dave Wilson '63 ( Hampden Sydney College fellow Trustee )
David Wilson
October 14, 2011
Dear Family and Friends of Dorothy, Hampton Roads has lost a Woman of Valor. She has implanted her academic and cultural activites, her love of animals, her family and business legacies, for us to respect forever. I have loved and admired all her achievements. Witn sincere blessings of condolence,
Joanne Kates Roos, Yorktown, Virginia
October 14, 2011
Dear Whitney and Mr. Bottom,

In the nearly 34 years I have known your mom and sister as both a cherished friend and a former employer, never once did I hear her speak unkindly of anyone. Dorothy was unfailingly gracious, remembering even the smallest detail I might mention about what had been happening in my life, and she always made me feel as if our chance meetings had been the highlight of her day. She was charismatic and compassionate, and though she had ties to many communities in this country and abroad, it was ours that she championed so passionately in the preservation of its culture and history. The designation of the Daily Press Holiday Fund to receive donations in her memory is such a touching tribute to a sincere humanitarian who, just after her college graduation, poured her time and energy into social work, providing disadvantaged children with access to the basics of life – food to eat, clothes to wear, and a roof over their heads, all of them needs that the Daily Press Holiday Fund has continued to address for our community’s own neighbors in need. For those of us who will miss her dearly, I hope that memories of so many joyful times spent in her company, and knowing that she is safely home, will be comforting remembrances in the days to come.
Melissa Trevallion Hespenhide, Director, Daily Press Holiday Fund
October 14, 2011
What a wonderful and special lady! Dorothy Rouse-Bottom was in every way a lady of style and grace who gave so much to her friendships. I was blessed to be her friend and received her support in meaningful ways in both civic and business matters. My heart is saddened by her death and I extend my sincere sympathy to her son Mark, to Ray, to Vi, and to all in her family.
Gordon Gentry, Jr.
October 13, 2011
Ray ~ Mom and I are so sorry to hear of the loss of your sister. You will be in our thoughts and prayers.
Jean Looper Ruckel
October 13, 2011
just would like to say i had the chance to work in dorothy home many times in the last 5 yrs or so. she was one of the nicest person that i have every worked for in my life. i would like to thank phil for hireing me whenever she had to have plaster work done in her home i got to meet her son the last time i worked there and he was just as nice as she was my heart goes out to all her family members. i know she will be missed. but her iife will always be in our heart and forever in our minds may god bless all of you
casey gibson
October 13, 2011
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