Word has been received of the passing of Dorothy Jane Harrington Grasse. Dorothy was an 8th generation descendant of Thomas Davenport, Pioneer of Philipstown, and a long time resident of Garrison. She passed away March 17th 2009 in Willits, CA at the age of 87. She was born to John Henry Harrington and Caroline Emma Nelson Harrington on Sept. 11, 1921 at Bronx, NY.
Early on the family relocated to Garrison where Dorothy attended the old one room schoolhouse on the Albany Post Road through 5th grade and then attended school in Garrison never missing a day of school in 8 years. She graduated from Haldane High School in 1939 and on May 17,1941 married her childhood sweetheart, Peter Sonta Grasse. Dorothy was a lifelong member of the Methodist Church, serving South Highlands church as both Sunday School Superintendent and church organist.
Dorothy's first job out of high school was as a personal secretary to Anne Bryan McColl. She was also employed as a nanny for Capt. and Mrs. Doyle, the Matthews, the Alexander Saunders family and Mrs. Hadley. Her career with the US Post Office began in Garrison where her Uncle Bob Nelson served as the assistant Postmaster. That career took her to Woodbury, CT and on to Central Valley, CA and Eugene, OR. For a time, Dorothy worked in Garrison for O. Rundle Gilbert, auctioneer. She ended her employment career as an apartment manager, along with Pete, in Fresno, CA and retired to Nice, CA and later to Willits, CA where she had been active in the Methodist Church and the Senior Center.
Dorothy and Peter were the parents of three children: Patricia Ann, Priscilla Sue and Frank John Peter. She was proud of her Nelson heritage and the family's place in local history and subscribed faithfully to the Putnam County News. She was also proud of her Irish heritage and showed it each year on St. Patrick's Day. She loved to play pinochle, spend time with her friends and family and keep active in her church. Most recently she was active in the startup of the Willits Red Hat Society. Known fondly by friends as Dottie, she will be remembered for her cheerful attitude, love of family and friends, open heart and giving spirit.
She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Dr. Frank and Frances Grasse of Willits, CA; daughter and son-in-law, Priscilla and David Farrel of Great Falls, MT; grandchildren: Joseph, Robert, and Robin Bourdeau and Loretta Sullivan all of Camarillo, CA; Glenn Farrel, Antelope, CA and Jason Farrel, Sacramento, CA; and great-grandchildren: Brandi and Amber Sullivan and Garrett Farrel. Garrison and New York area survivors include nephews and nieces, Jack (Barbara), Jerry (Patty), Jim and Maryjane Harrington and their spouses and families; sister-in-law, Bert Harrington and niece, Roberta Kemp and family as well as members of the Nelson family.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband (1989); daughter, Patricia Bourdeau Miller (1993); two brothers - Henry (Edna) and Robert Harrington; nephew, Hank Harrington; niece, Elizabeth Circelli; and great-grandson, Steven Bourdeau.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, March 26, 2009 at the Willits United Methodist Church in Willits, CA with burial in Upper Lake Cemetery, Upper Lake, California. Funeral services are under the care and direction of Anker- Lucier Mortuary 95 W. Commercial St., Willits, CA 95490.