July 2018

Dorothy Kaplan McCarty, Unbroken Circle

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Mary Anne Zak

Dorothy Kaplan McCarty modeled roles for many women. An especially notable model for mothers and music-lovers, she focused her life on love of family and music that accompanied her throughout her life.

Remembering her grandfather, Dorothy sang Polish lullabyes to her children that he had sung to her. Her children, Betsy, Kit, Rich and Margo inherited literary, musical and theatrical talents and in turn gifted their children. Kit wrote all family names including those of sisters- in- law in Dorothy’s obituary and Rich followed suit in his eulogy. Dorothy’s grandchildren were pallbearers as Betsy guided them through their loss.

Dottie delighted recently in seeing daughter Margaret and her son Zachariah appear in the drama To Kill A Mockingbird. Long appreciated for their singing, mother and son shared a stage. Dottie proudly described Zachariah’s attention to the roles he and others were playing! At 14, he has true stage presence, a signature bow tie, and sister-companion Alexandra!

Dottie herself starred lately in the reading of a one-act comedy at Suffield by the River. With the late Althea Scheller, she entertained a laughing audience with lively facial and verbal expertise. Dottie’s love of theatre and music, nourished by travels she and late husband Dick enjoyed, made her a prize player on Team Trivia. Dottie could hear a word or two from any song written in the recent century and launch into an entire rendition of the entire lyrics.

In his eloquent, witty eulogy of his mother, Dorothy, Rich McCarty also honored his late father. Rich fittingly embraced Dick by quoting from a letter he wrote to Dorothy before they were married. The letter closed with “I love you.”

An unusual component in a eulogy, the letter’s message was prefigured in the Mass of Christian Burial by the inclusion of James Taylor’s “Shower the People.” The messages echoed 1 John 3 – and Dotty: “Little children love one another.”

Dorothy Kaplan McCarty learned gardening, cooking and homemaking skills from her mother practicing them devotedly throughout her home life. From childhood, she shared growing up with Florence Winiarski Egan. Working in tobacco at age 12, harvesting milkweed pods for insulating parachutes, swimming in the brook, they shared lifelong friendship.

Rounding the circle of life, Dorothy expressed concern for a critically ill friend. Coming full circle with family where she had started, Dottie said she felt very happy to have her children with her.

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