Dorothy Irwin


November 2, 1921 - October 24, 2012

Dorothy was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. At 18 she was hired as an underwater mermaid at the 1939 World’s Fair Salvador Dali exhibit. The manager, Saul Heller, fell in love with her. They eloped and settled in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.

He became a theatrical producer and radio host, and they entertained many visiting celebrities. In 1952 they returned to New York City with daughters, Joan and Carol.

Dorothy began a career in the garment industry as a file clerk and rose to become a top producing sales person to major department store buyers. In 1955 daughter Beth was born.

Dorothy divorced Saul in 1962 and moved to Hollywood, Florida, where she met and married William Irwin, who died in 1979. After managing a motel, Dorothy worked as a teller at a local bank and rose to head bookkeeper. At 55, she went back to school and became an LPN, a job she enjoyed and held until retirement.

After retirement she joined her daughter Joan, a U.S.. Army Major stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska. Joan’s next assignment was to Wuerzsburg, Germany. Dorothy traveled throughout Europe and was in Berlin to watch the wall being dismantled by the recently liberated East Germans.

After military life, Dorothy and Joan settled in Cosmopolis, Washington where Dorothy was a “stay at home Gram” until Jennie went off to college.

Thursday nights at the VFW became the highlight of Dorothy’s week and her friends Bob Lane and Skip Perry became like family to her.

Once Jennie married and settled in Georgia, Dorothy and Joan uprooted themselves one more time to be with Jennie, her husband Nate, and her daughter, Olivia.

Dorothy is survived by her three daughters, Joan Brumett of Warner Robins, Ga., Caryl Heller of Spokane, Wash. and Beth Heller, of Trout Creek, Mont.; grandchildren, Jennifer Keller and Nicole Heller; great-grandchildren, Olivia Keller and Madeline Keller. A son, Richard, preceded her in death.

Words cannot express how much the kindness and friendship of Linda Fulleton, her caregiver in Cosmopolis, meant to Dorothy.

There will be a Memorial Gathering at the Aberdeen Elks from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 6, 2013. Grays Harbor became her home and those who cared for and about her are invited to come and share memories.