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Dorothy J. Reichard

September 7, 1924 December 27, 2010
Dorothy J. Reichard
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Obituary for Dorothy J. Reichard

Dorothy Reichard (Dot to her friends) was born in Chicago, Illinois, and spent her early years there. Although she later moved to Cleveland (where she would meet her husband, Bill), she always considered Chicago her �real� hometown.

After graduating from Lakewood High School, Dot held office jobs in banks, insurance agencies, and railroad offices before meeting and marrying Bill Reichard. Theirs was a true love affair�there were times, right into their golden years, when Dot and Bill still seemed to occupy their own special little world. They always made time for each other, vacationing to Florida, Jamaica, Bermuda, the Dominican Republic, Haiti�these were not family vacations. They were all honeymoons.

After Bill�s career got rolling, Dot was more than happy to become a full-time homemaker and mom. It was a role that Dot reveled in�volunteering at her childrens� schools, making costumes for pageants, and, of course, tending to everyday tasks like making sure everyone had clean socks to wear and enough to eat. It�s not an exaggeration to say that Dot�s greatest pleasure was taking care of her family.

There were two places that could possibly rival Chicago for Dot�s affections, and they were both in Michigan�Birmingham and Glen Arbor. Dot moved to Birmingham in the early 50s, and settled into a neighborhood full of families, and she�d really found her niche. When Bill was transferred to Cincinnati in 1961, Dot reluctantly went along, but her heart never left Birmingham, and in 1967, Bill was able to finagle a transfer back to Birmingham so Dot could return home.

Bill and Dot discovered Glen Lake in the mid-1950s when one of Bill�s work colleagues recommended it. At the time, it was a well-kept secret, and Dot did her best to see it stayed that way. In fact, when plans were made to declare Sleeping Bear Dunes a National Lakeshore, Dot organized an effort (an unsuccessful one) to block it, for fear that Glen Arbor would be overrun by tourists who wouldn�t appreciate Glen Lake�s natural beauty the way Dot did. Fortunately, her fears were mostly unfounded, and, in fact, one of her happiest memories was a family vacation where she was able to share with her grandchildren a Glen Arbor much like the Glen Arbor she and Bill had first encountered in the 50s.

Dorothy had a succession of dogs over the years, whom she doted on. There was Duke, a Boston Terrier who fancied himself a warrior and would pick fights with dogs twice his size; Snooky, a mutt who could actually talk; and Beaugi, a miniature poodle that convinced Dot, once and for all, that poodles were the smartest breed on Earth.

Dot loved the arts�painting, theatre, music, film. She loved old Hollywood and all its trappings, and she adored all the giant stars of the day�Cary Grant, Clark Gable, and Bette Davis were particular favorites, but Dot could also name all the �B� players, too. Dot and Bill were huge jazz fans, and attended nightclubs and concerts regularly. They owned several swizzle sticks �Ripped Off� from Baker�s Keyboard Lounge.

In keeping with Dot�s love of nature, she spent countless happy hours working in her garden. She loved eating fresh tomatoes from her own garden�provided an enterprising raccoon hadn�t timed the tomatoes ripening perfectly and bitten into it before Dot could get it. Mostly, she just loved to be outside in the fresh air on a warm day. Dot enjoyed the change of seasons, but she was always more than ready for Spring when it arrived each year.

Dorothy, like the rest of her generation, took the lessons of the Great Depression and World War II to heart. She was frugal�never extravagant. Dot and Bill�s priority was never themselves�it was always their children. They didn�t believe in buying expensive cars or clothes or jewelry. They thought it was more important that their children have a first-rate education. In her 86 years, Dot saw the world change around her, but her outlook never really changed. She always put her family first. She always let her children know how much she loved them�a gift for which they are eternally grateful.

Dorothy is survived by her daughter, Nancy; her son, Tom and his wife, Nancy; her son, Mark, and his wife, Debbie; and her grandchildren, Elise and Austin. Visitation will be held at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home, 1368 N. Crooks Road (between 14-15 Mile Rds.) Thursday 3-8pm. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Holy Name Church, 630 Harmon Street, Birmingham, Friday 10am. Friends may visit at church beginning at 9:30am. Interment in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Southfield.

Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society, 20450 Civic Center Drive, Southfield, Michigan 48076.

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