Nature 42

Dorothy Kast

June 24, 1927 ~ September 9, 2023 (age 96) 96 Years Old


Dorothy is glad to be back in Los Gatos for her final resting spot. She's with Ray, and they are once again neighbors with Shirley and Kevin. Just like old times.  When the family moved to Los Gatos in 1958, Mom discovered our neighbor Shirley went to the same high school and was related to Dad by marriage. Dorothy and Shirley spoke or visited nearly every day for 30 or more years.


 Dorothy was, above all else- a loving Mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and even a great- great grandma.  We all remember family functions down the road at Shannon Park, softball games at the High School or Blossom Hill Fields, picnics at Oak Meadow, and feeding the ducks and kayaking at Vasona.

She spoiled her friends and family with her time and attention, and she spoiled all of us  with her baked goods.  She self- published 6 books of her recipes.  She believed in sharing great recipes and had several published in the paper, and she was always ready to bake and share for any occasion. 

She taught her 4 kids to speak up and hold strong opinions.  She told us about things she had seen in her life and why some things were important enough to fight for and march for.  Dorothy instilled in all her children a love of reading-- a highlight of many weekends was the Saturday trip to the library.

Dorothy was a loyal and fierce friend to many. Once you were hers, you were hers---- and so were your kids, your spouses; everybody you loved, she loved.

She devoted herself to her four kids with everything she had and embraced her children-in-law as her own. You come into her family with kids? Your kids are our kids, now, too, led by Dorothy and Ray. Dorothy was the Matriarch not just of her nuclear family, but of her entire family - her younger cousins love her as a second mother and mentor. 

So many of her sayings are forever etched into our memory: The chair has four legs- use them. Pour over the open sink. Where are the good scissors?  Stand up straight- pretend you're a puppet on a string. Open that refrigerator door again and I will break your arm!  And to Tony, her son- in- law to be walking behind her as she was released from the hospital: "I'll bet it's the first time you've followed a woman with a urine bag, huh?"  Long pause. "Well, it won't be the last time".

Dorothy loved a crossword puzzle and could work out answers up until the end.  She loved a trashy magazine, loved her pineapple Starbucks and she could tell you which area in the case the piece of See's candy she was eating would be located in the display. She loved makeup and a well-cut jacket. She loved anything her kids or grandkids made for her. She loved all holidays but she especially loved Christmas. She loved politics and movies and Elvis Christmas music all year long.

Dorothy taught all four kids to drive on the slow, winding streets of Vasona Park. Her right foot would be slamming into the floor on the passenger side, and her left arm would shoot across the student driver, as her pupils took the corners on two wheels. 

Dorothy loved animals and always had a pet to keep her company and to spoil.  We all pray that she's found them again, over the Rainbow Bridge.

The last few years of Dorothy's life were not easy for her and she often let everybody know. But she also let them know how much she loved them and how much she understood and appreciated the attention.  Let us be happy now, that Dorothy is free of pain and suffering and holds no more fear.  She loved well and was well- loved in return.  None of us can ask for more. 


I'll end with a quote from Abraham Lincoln, with the caveat- Dorothy was no angel, and hated it when folks called her "sweet".  Spicy maybe, but never sweet:

"All that I am, or that I hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother"


May she rest, now.

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