Traverse City Record-Eagle


January 1, 2014

Dorothy Ralph Stulen

FOUNTAIN HILLS, Ariz. — Dorothy Stulen, born Jan. 14, 1921, passed away Dec. 12, 2013, in Fountain Hills, Ariz. Dorothy was born in Bellevue, Pa., near Pittsburgh, the single child of German and Scotch/Irish parents.

In 1943 she married Frank Stulen, with whom she attended first grade in 1927, developing a long, loving life together. After the end of World War II she and Frank moved to Traverse City, where she spent time volunteering, supporting community endeavors and raising three children.

Volunteering was a hallmark of her life: teaching French to fourth graders, being a museum docent, helping Caribbean students at the Interlochen Center for the Arts adjust to their new environment to name but a few.

She was a charter member of the Traverse City Civic Players in 1960 and played many lead roles on the local stage for almost two decades.

Housing many foreign students and visitors led to extensive travel and an appreciation for the beliefs, cultures, arts and languages of others, epitomizing her desire to embrace God’s creatures around the world.

Living on the shores of Lake Michigan and Long Lake, she loved nature and embraced an active outdoor life. She was a longtime skier, sailor, biker, hiker and tennis player. In her 50s and 60s she and her husband biked in France and Italy, tramped almost all of the “tracks” in New Zealand, trekked around Annapurna in Nepal and sailed extensively in the Caribbean.

She was an accomplished gardener and flower arranger, a master of Ikebana, who took great solace being in nature and around flowers.

Dotty and her husband, Frank, fell in love with the desert southwest, exploring and hiking its myriad of beautiful trails before moving to Fountain Hills, Ariz., on a more permanent basis in 2009.

She is survived by her three children, seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, all who love her dearly.

A private memorial service will be held by the family.

Contributions in Dorothy’s name can be made to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix (

Those who would like to write their memories and condolences to the family may do so at the Fountain Hills Messinger Mortuary webpage,

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