GRAND RAPIDS — “Dottie” was born in Mount Vernon, Ind., to Ruth and J.Guy Heimburger and died at Clark Retirement Community in Grand Rapids.
When she was 3 years old she moved with her family to Michigan. The family lived on a farm in Douglas, a time which Dottie remembered very fondly. Later they moved to Saginaw, where she graduated from Arthur Hill High School.
A graduate of Albion College, she taught school in Parma for three years. Some years later she worked as a Social Security claims representative in Traverse City. She received her master’s in Library Science from the U of M and was employed by the Kent County Library system as head librarian at the East Grand Rapids branch and later as the head reference librarian for the entire system.
She was the wife of the Rev. Donn Doten, senior minister at Central Methodist Church in Traverse City; Trinity United Methodist Church in Grand Rapids; and University UMC in East Lansing (among other charges). Dottie had a strong faith and loved the church. In all their parishes she was a full ministry partner with Donn. She served in many roles, including teaching Sunday School, leading adult education groups and singing in the choirs.
Dottie loved music and was a charter member of the Grand Rapids Symphonic Choir. An avid reader, Dottie was also a wonderful storyteller. Her family loved to have her tell and retell stories about her life. In her retirement she preserved many memories in written form. She also wrote stories based on biblical texts.
She was a wise teacher, an understanding listener, a compassionate giver, a person of strong convictions and a loving spirit. Her life touched and influenced many people who remember her fondly.
She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, the Rev. Dianne Morrison and the Rev. Dr. Richard Morrison, of Traverse City; her son and daughter-in-law, Dale and Suzanne Doten, of Grand Rapids; her sister, Edna Heimburger Smith, of Greenville; her sister-in-law, Nonnie Heimburger, of Sumter, S.C.; three grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; her brother, Art; and her brother-in-law, Dewey Smith.
In lieu of flowers, consider donations to Traverse City Central United Methodist Church/Organ/Choir Loft Project, Clark Retirement Community Benevolent Care Fund or Doctors Without Borders.
Memorial services will be held in Traverse City at Central United Methodist Church on Sept. 9, 2013, at 11 a.m., and in the Chapel at Clark Retirement Community in Grand Rapids on Sept. 14, 2013, at 1 p.m.