Dorothy Carol Girard, ninety years old, passed away at NorthBay Hospital in Fairfield on Wednesday, September 30, 2015, following a short illness. She lived in Winters for fifty-five years.
Born in Richmond, CA, Dorothy was the loving daughter and fourth child of Hazel M. and George F. Curry’s five children.
Dorothy was a shy girl who loved horses. She rode horseback (often bareback!) over many poppy covered hills in the East Bay. This inspired her lifelong love of California wildflowers, especially poppies.
A 1947 graduate of Holy Names College in Oakland, Dorothy later completed her higher education with a teaching credential from San Francisco State University.
Teaching was Dorothy’s destiny. It changed her from a shy young woman to a dynamic, zestful and powerful force in the classroom. Dorothy was loved by students and parents because of her special connection to them, and her renowned expertise in teaching reading to first graders. She was highly creative in classroom enrichment, too, from holiday programs to science projects. Further, she mentored fellow teachers. In fact, midway through her career, she was Vacaville Teacher of the Year. In her retirement for over thirty years, she was delighted when she encountered former students in the community – their children, and even some of their grandchildren. Dorothy’s influence as a highly respected and loved teacher resonated for decades.
Dorothy loved hiking, camping and fishing. She enjoyed many excursions with her second husband, Al, before he became seriously ill. At that point, she became a devoted caregiver, ever-loving and vigilant for nine years before his death.
In her head and heart, Dorothy’s most special place was Drakesbad in Lassen National Park. For fifteen years, she planned all year for the annual trip to Drakesbad with her sister Barbara and niece Karen. She loved hiking there and all over Lassen. Each year the conversations over the dinner table or campfire centered around that year’s wildflowers, fishing holes, bear sightings, snow banks that obstructed the hiking trails, and the geothermal wonders of the area.
With Dorothy, family came first. She lived for her family, and always talked about them with optimism and pride. Dorothy is survived by her loving sister, Barbara Pedersen, Santa Rosa; niece, Karen Pettigrew (Charley), Napa; nephews, Michael Maloney (Linda), Bend, OR, Patrick Maloney, Richmond, Stacy Curry, San Diego, Stanley Curry, San Diego, Steven Curry, San Diego; and niece Lynn Pittier, WA; as well as numerous nieces and nephews, great and great-great nieces and nephews.
In addition, Dorothy is survived by treasured longtime friends Alana and Bob Patterson, Winters, Keitha and Jerry Saylor, Vacaville, Bonnie Benshoof, Vacaville, and Joann Beck, Dixon.
Dorothy is preceded in death by her husband, Alfred Girard; sister, Ruth Maloney; brothers, George D. Curry and Frank W. Curry; and nephew Daniel Maloney.
At Dorothy’s request, services will be private. She will be interred at Sunset View Cemetery, El Cerrito, CA. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Dorothy’s name to the Lassen Park Foundation at www.lassenparkfoundation.org.