Our beloved “Mama Dot” left us to be with her soulmate “Papa George” on Sunday, April 28th, 2019. Born to William and Loretta Peters Albrecht in Reading, PA on November 22, 1925, Dorothy Cecelia loved to laugh! She had a zest for life that we all wish we could emulate – her private motto was, “Yesterday was yesterday, don’t think about it because you can’t change it, just look towards tomorrow”. She loved this life, no matter how much physical or emotional pain it inflicted upon her, and she fought tooth and nail till the end to stay here on earth.
Raised in Paterson, New Jersey with her two brothers Bill and Bob, Dorothy graduated from Eastside High School in the mid-1940’s. She was employed as a court reporter in New York City during and after WWII, and it was here that she met her “beautiful” George, the sailor. And it was that VERY sexy ankle bracelet she was wearing that caught George’s eye! As most young people did in that era, they spent most of their time going to clubs, listening to the great singers and big bands of the day, enjoying cocktails and DANCING!! Sometimes George’s brother John and sisters Ann and Helen would accompany them, “cutting a rug” into the wee hours of the morning.
Dorothy and George were married on March 28th, 1948 in Massachusetts, where George grew up. After moving to St. Louis, Missouri, where George earned a degree in Engineering in 1951 from Washington University, they started their family. Firstborn Marianne arrived on January 9, 1950, with George Martin (Marty) making his presence on April 29, 1951. Last but not least came Lawrence (Larry) on May 6, 1952. And so, the family was complete. The move to Houston, Texas came in 1961, where they were soon welcomed by Category 5 Hurricane Carla!
Dorothy quickly became immersed in the busy life of a mom whose children were involved in Little League, Pop Warner Football and dance. But she and George never forgot how to party! They and their friends spent many a night playing cards, laughing, smoking, having a few cocktails and yes, dancing!! Bowling and their love of horse racing came a bit later, but was enjoyed every bit as much as everything else they did together.
By 1970, the children had graduated from St. Agnes Academy and St. Thomas High School respectively, and Dorothy and George were off on another adventure – this time for a job change for George that led them to the Los Angeles area. They made new friends quickly, and although they moved away from their immediate family, there was plenty of extended family already in the area. And Santa Anita Racetrack was nearby, to foster their love of horse racing.
Coming back to Texas for retirement was a no-brainer, it was just a matter of which town to choose. After much research on Dorothy’s part, they decided upon Kerrville, and made the move in 1989. At last they were close to children and grandchildren, much of whose childhood they had missed. And we children enjoyed having a great place to get away and spend time with them. Many a mean Scrabble game was played on their dining room table, into the wee hours of the morning, with drinks flowing and Sinatra or Chris Botti playing softly in the background. And we’ll never forget the year Marty and Gloria crashed their Thanksgiving, with all four kids in tow - we will treasure those memories forever.
After the love of her life George passed in 2010, Dorothy made her final move and came to live in Houston. And, being so close, she was finally able to share birthdays, graduations, showers and weddings with her family. Sadly, that included another funeral, as we lost Marianne-with-the-sunshine-smile early in 2013. But Dorothy still enjoyed going out to eat and having some drinks – she was fond of Goode Company Seafood Restaurant in particular, for their fried oysters, swordfish and the bartender’s ability to make a mean Manhattan!! And, oh yes, for the boat in the middle of the restaurant named “TOMKAT” that was resurrected from Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, where she had spent some time with George and his family in their younger years. Another favorite spot of hers was The Backyard Grill, where we all celebrated her 90th birthday party just a few years ago.
Her birthday this past year was spent just a little more quietly. It fell on Thanksgiving Day, and some of the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren celebrated with her at grandson Michael Brandon’s house. She so enjoyed watching the little ones play all around her, and was very excited at the prospect that we might have some future musicians in the family. Dylan played guitar for her, and little Taylor played the piano while Dorothy clapped along. And we all sang Happy Birthday, for what turned out to be the last time.
Dorothy leaves behind quite a legacy: son George Martin (Marty) and wife Gloria; son Lawrence (Larry); son-in-law Tom Purcell; grandsons Brian Jason LaPoint (Loren), Michael Andrew LaPoint (Cooper), Brian Patrick Purcell (Janessa), Michael Brandon LaPoint (Kat); granddaughters Christine LaPoint Conlee (Jamie) and Meghan Purcell Flores (Ricardo); step-grandson Luke Mutolo, Sr. (Stacy) and step-granddaughter Katie Mutolo McLaughlin (Daniel). Also, her great-grandchildren Tyler and Dylan Purcell, Keagen and Delany LaPoint, Rixon and Everitt LaPoint, Dylan and Taylor LaPoint, and Liliana Flores; step-great-grandchildren Jaden and Casen Conlee, and Luke Jr. and Mason Mutolo; sisters-in-law Ki LaPoint and Helen Bontorno, and numerous nieces and nephews. Waiting to greet Dorothy at Heaven’s Gate were her soulmate George, parents William and Loretta, brother Bill, daughter Marianne, and grandson Michael Sean.
Many thanks to out to Dorothy’s home healthcare team, including her Hospice nurse Anthony. Special regard is given to Elvia Petit, Joy Broderick and Nancy Clotter, whose loving care and friendship made those final months just a little easier to bear.
A memorial service will be held at Cypress-Fairbanks Funeral Home, 9926 Jones Road, Houston, TX 77065 on May 18, 2019. Please visit www.cyfairfunerals.com for details and to express condolences to the family. Dorothy’s final resting place will be at Houston National Cemetery, alongside her beloved George.