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Life Story / Obituary
Dorothy “Dottie” Kaiser was a very generous person. She lived her life by giving to others, often opening up her home to her children’s friends and anyone who needed a place to stay. She never seemed to want for anything. Instead, she relished in the ability to nurture others and provide for her family all of the things she never had while growing up. If you had the time and the listening ear, Dottie would gladly sit for hours in conversation and loved spending time with others. Sadly, Dottie passed away and leaves behind a rich collection of memories for all who knew and loved her.
In 1948 Dottie was born to George and Gladys (Van Scyoc) Wise on June 4, in Benton Harbor, Michigan joining her three older siblings, Richard, Mary, and Peggy. Dottie brought her parents great joy and was a great big sister to Ron.
Growing up in Hartford, her father was in the Navy and worked various jobs while her mother was a devoted homemaker. They lived on a farm which kept the entire family involved. Dottie grewing up she was easy going. She prided herself in having excellent grades and graduated with only fifteen others in her class in 1967 from Hartford High School. Shortly after graduation, Dottie went to work at her sister Peggy’s husband’s restaurant; Capozio Pizza in the Benton Harbor/St. Joseph area. Later, she took a second job to help make ends meet at Dawn Donuts where she met the man of her dreams. An older man, David Kaiser, who was her boss at the time; he never let on about his true feelings for her for a long time; yet both of them would say that it was indeed love at first sight. The two of them were eager to start a family of their own and after their marriage ceremony on February 8, 1973 in Coloma, they settled down in the lakeshore community of Stevensville. Still working long hours at the donut shop, they began raising three beautiful children; David Jr., Benjamin, and Joanna. It was Dottie’s dream to provide everything for her children that she didn’t have as a child, so she worked long hours helping to pay for their varied interests over the years, from gymnastics to T-ball, Boy Scouts to ballet and so much more. It brought her great pride and joy to know they could always do anything they set their minds to do. After her husband David passed away in 1984, she eventually moved the family to the growing Portage community so she could be closer for her position at the post office, where she worked tirelessly to support her family. A few short years later in 1989, she met Ray Thompson. The two of them had many common interests and began a steady, long term relationship until he passed away in 2005. He had four children of his own; Doug, Nikki, Shalesha, and Jamie. His kids were very, very close with Dottie’s children and she couldn’t love them any more. She cherished them all as if they were her very own.
Not surprisingly, Dottie had a wide variety of special interests. She was never known to be a good cook and if it weren’t for her partner Ray, they would have had to survive on take out! Instead of cooking, she enjoyed reading mystery books and also enjoyed the various books written by her favorite author, Janet Evanovich, who was introduced to her by her daughter-in-law Nicole. Dottie was working on a novel and wanted more than anything to have a poem of hers published. After her retirement from the postal service in 2009, nothing brought her greater joy than caring for her grandchildren; Molly, Cornelius, Ella, David III, and George. She loved to watch them and have them over and would even drive to her son David’s home in Chicago to baby-sit! Her daughter, Joanna once told her mother that she "wouldn't give her grandchildren until she retired." She was elated to have her mom retired so that she could be sure to help raise her children in the beautiful way she cared for her and her siblings so many years ago. Dottie also enjoyed each and every one of her step grandchildren; Tia, Noah, Ona, Shai-Rese, twins Morgan and Olivia, Irisha, and Rae Ann. When she wasn’t watching her grandchildren, she treasured the monthly meeting times with some of her former postal workers, often nearly sixty of them would meet for Chinese buffet! Just recently Dottie had returned from a cruise of a lifetime throughout Europe with her siblings. Described as generous, accepting, loving, and kind, Dottie will be deeply missed, yet her warm memories will be etched on the hearts of her loving family and friends.
Dorothy “Dottie” Kaiser, age 68, of Portage passed away on December 1, 2016 in the comfort of her home. Dottie was born on June 4, 1948 to George and Gladys (Van Scyoc) Wise. Visit with her family and friends and view her life story film on Tuesday, December 6th from 4:00 – 7:00pm at the Life Story Funeral Home, Portage; 5975 Lovers Lane. (344-5600). Left to cherish her memories are her children; David Jr. (Nicole), Benjamin, and Joanna (Kyle Smith), also Doug (Maureen) Thompson, Nikki, Shalesha, and Jamie Thompson; 13 grandchildren; 2 brothers and 1 sister: Richard (Ethel), Ron and Mary; as well as several nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her husband, David Sr.; partner Ray; her parents; and her sister, Peggy. Please visit Dottie’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can archive a memory or photo and sign her memory book online. Memorial donations can be made to American Diabetes Association.