Dorothy Elizabeth Lewis Heath died Aug. 6, 2015, at Lower Cape Fear Hospice. She was 91.
She was born at home on April 27, 1924, on the corner of Eighteenth and Castle streets in Wilmington. She was preceded in death by her parents, Henry Thomas Lewis and Margaret Elizabeth Reynolds Lewis; brothers, Henry Thurston “Turk” Lewis, James Edward Lewis Sr. and Paul Wayland Lewis; and sisters, Ruth Eileen Lewis, Nancy Faye Fox and Cynthia LaNell Bland.
She is survived by her husband, Ralph Clyde Heath; daughters, Cynthia Marie Heath and Katherine Jean Heath, of Leland; grandchildren, Connie Ganey (Mary Dixon), of Hawaii, Michael Ganey (Amanda Bautista), of Tasmania, Australia, Brian Sanie, of Leland, Shoshawnna Hamilton (Christopher), of Marietta, Georgia, Joshua Sanie, of Wilmington and Bronson Sanie, of Leland; great-grandchildren, Karly Bautista, Kya Ganey, Ivy Ganey and Jacey Ganey, of Australia, Isaiah Hamilton and Olivia Hamilton, of Marietta, Georgia, Cayman Sanie, of Delco, Kyrsten Sanie, of Virginia and Eva Hutchins-Sanie, of Leland; sisters, Margaret Alverta Robbins, Mildred Catherine Williamson, Wilma Joyce St. John, Virginia Marie Mills (Scott) and Barbara Jean Sellers, all of Leland; sister-in-law, Patty Lee Lewis, of Castle Hayne; brother-in-law, Jerry Lynn Bland, of Boiling Spring Lakes; and many loving nieces and nephews.
Dorothy graduated with the 1942 class of New Hanover High School. She attended Raleigh School of Commerce, where she met her husband, Ralph, who was the nephew of the owner. Married in 1943, WWII took them to Camp Beale in Marysville, California. Upon discharge, Ralph was offered a job in Marin County, California. They joined Novato Presbyterian Church, where Dorothy was also church secretary. She later became the secretary at Loma Verde Elementary School.
After returning to North Carolina in the early 1960s, Dorothy worked as a secretary for Queensboro Steel Company of Wilmington and Riegel Paper Company in Riegelwood. She later opened a gift shop, Island Treasures, in Oak Island. She sold the business and opened a florist shop, Petal Pusher Flowers, in Leland.
Dorothy, a lifelong gardener, enjoyed sitting among her flowers and watching the birds and butterflies. She also loved to cook and is especially remembered for her lemon meringue pie. She had a love for arts and crafts and was always ready to sew, cut, glue or frame.
But her real joy was in tutoring young children. She worked with a tutoring program in Leland and with several children in the family. Some of those children came back to tell her they would not have completed school without her help. Dorothy spent much of her childhood attending Woodburn Presbyterian Church in Leland and, as an adult, served there as a Sunday school teacher and elder.
A memorial service will be held at noon Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015, at Woodburn Presbyterian Church, 509 Village Road, Leland. Visitation will be held at the family’s home the week before the service.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Lower Cape Fear Hospice, 1414 Physicians Drive, Wilmington, NC 28401 or Woodburn Presbyterian Church Cemetery Fund, P.O. Box 1140, Leland, NC 28451.
Please leave online condolences for the family at Wilmington Funeral & Cremation.
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