Cover photo for Dorothy (Dode) Twyford's Obituary
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1937 Dorothy 2019

Dorothy (Dode) Twyford

July 31, 1937 — April 21, 2019

On Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019 Dorothy Vernon Twyford (Dode) departed this life with her husband and son by her side at La Posada Assisted Living facility in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Dorothy was born in Steubenville, Ohio on July 31, 1937, the only daughter of George and Dorothy Parks who proceeded her in death.  She was also predeceased by two infant sons and her daughter-in-law Sue Twyford. She is survived by her husband of sixty-three years, Tom Twyford, Sr., son Tom Twyford, Jr., grandsons Tommy Twyford III and Eddie Twyford, all of Palm Beach County, Florida.  Others surviving her are Sandra Johnson first cousin from Steubenville, Ohio, sister-in law Marge Bedortha (Jim) also residents of Steubenville, Ohio, niece Laurel Miller and nephew Craig Bedortha both residents of the Carolinas, and cousins Tom and Betty Woods of West Chester, Ohio and Sharon Smith of Cincinnati, Ohio.  She had one brother, George Parks, who survives her. The Twyford family would like to acknowledge the enduring friendships of Chris and Carol Ralston, Peter and Christine Diol and their family, Joella Callaway of Jupiter, Florida and Rosemary Handley of Worthington, Ohio.  We need also mention Bobby and Linda Murphy of Delaware County, Ohio, who have long memories.  And “Dr. Fog” John Brettell from Steubenville, Ohio who has been a constant friend since high school.  David Scharfenberger, a Steubenville grade school chum.  And last but not least is Robert Cannon, the Louisiana rebel who’s friendship has no bounds. Dorothy was an honor graduate of Steubenville High School (Class of 1955).  Upon graduation she chose not to pursue a college education and worked at The Ohio Bell Telephone Company to help finance her sweethearts higher learning.  Dorothy and Tom (Steubenville H.S. Class 1953) were married at the Fifth Street Methodist Church on March 17, 1956. She was possessed of striking uncommon beauty rather exotic in appearance.  With her high cheek bones and olive complexion, she was often mistaken for a native American on some of her sojourns to the western United States. Dorothy did not rely on beauty alone, but had the intellect and personality to make her a stand-out in any social situation.  She possessed a star quality recognizable to friends and total strangers alike. Her appearance and talent paved the way for modeling and dancing.  A lifelong love of theatrical and musical productions enabled her to write and choreograph a successful community variety show that had a seven year run.  The ensemble had a cast of over two-hundred, known as the “Worthington Hills Varieties”.  This annual event was more than just a show, it was a binding together of neighbors engaged in a common purpose. One of the most impressive and exciting periods of her life was the three years she spent in Alaska as an army officer’s wife.  In 1959 Alaska was truly “The Last Frontier”.  Dorothy was a “Cheechako” an Eskimo term for newcomer, but she fit the spirit of this state.  She was the perfect army officer’s wife and used her talents to promote shows and entertainment at Fort Richardson’s Officers Club. The night before she gave birth to Tommy Jr. she slipped and fell down a muddy embankment while salmon fishing on the Kenai Peninsula.  All in a day’s work for this Alaskan lady.

On another occasion she went camping with baby Tommy at the foot of Mt. McKinley in Denali National Park on May 30, 1961.  She and her companions were the only visitors to this vast wilderness this early in the season.  The sweep of colors on the Northern Lights was Dorothy’s rainbow. Never one to fear getting earth under her well-manicured fingernails, she was a committed gardener.  As a past president she was one of the founding members of the Worthington Hills Garden Club and remained a member for over forty-five years.  With a significant contribution from Dorothy, the club has won many state-wide awards over the years. The volunteer work she was so dedicated to was unprecedented.  She worked with Alzheimer patients for 20 years.  And a love that was particularly close to her was her twenty-five plus years working with mentally challenged adults.  Her efforts as founder and director of “The Can Do Players” gave these handicapped individuals a sense of importance, confidence and a realization of untapped capabilities.  In the 1980’s she was designated one of the five finalists for the prestigious “Jefferson Award” given for outstanding community service in Central Ohio. At times when Dorothy was troubled in heart or mind, Lake Hope State Park in southern Ohio was her refuge.  To her this Appalachian forest provided a safe haven and peace of mind from the rigors of life.  Thanksgiving at Lake Hope became an annual ritual for Dorothy.  Exercising her organizational and logistic skills, she’d rent two or three cabins to entertain family and friends in the full spirit of the holiday.  There commenced three days of feasting, festivities and hiking the wooded trails in search of spotting white-tailed deer, wild turkey and grouse.  A memorable occasion was when Tom Jr.’s swim coach and team members from Marshall University were beneficiaries of Dode’s non-stop holiday agenda. Dorothy has requested that some portion of her ashes be spread with those of her sister-in-law, Virginia Stott, at Lake Hope.  There was a time when the two of them ran naked from the cabin to the shower house in a crazy celebration of life. No tribute to this woman would be complete without mention of her love of dogs and cats.  Home was always a lucky place for a canine that needed spoiled.  “Paddy” (beagle), “Patch” (dalmatian), “ Pugford” (pug), “Daisy” and “Scout” (both springer spaniels), and her last two “Chippie” and “Amazing Grace” (both black labs) - Grace joined Dode on her death bed as a last loving gesture. There was no adventure that Dorothy found too great a challenge.  This girl was up for anything or any place.  Whether it be battling eight foot seas to catch sailfish off the Florida Keys, or skiing the icy trails of Colorado or Montana.  Even a two-day mule trek to the bottom of The Grand Canyon and back didn’t faze her, she reveled in it. Sitting still was not part of her DNA.  Dorothy and Tom were fortunate enough to travel much of the world in style.  She planted her feet in all fifty states and most of the Canadian provinces   Just to name a few must-see bucket list places Dorothy saw were London, Paris, Rome, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Amalfi Coast of Italy, Monte Carlo, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Australia and New Zealand.  She particularly enjoyed The Cotswolds of England, the Scottish Moors and The Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia.  Her most romantic of all places was Portofino, Italy.

Closer to home, she had second homes on the Bass Islands of Lake Erie.  Put-In-Bay in it’s glory years was a ten-year adventure of non-stop friends, family, fishing and fun-fun-fun.  Kelley’s Island was a more laid back version of the same. Death begs the question; Did this person’s life have a lasting meaning that transcends their passing?  Dorothy’s life is likened to the ripples that extend beyond the stone that enters the water and creates repercussions not foreseen.  While ripples in water disappear, the ripples of a life remain and are passed on to all who intersect that life.  Dorothy’s wake truly transcends her earthly existence. So, we who knew and loved her, can find comfort in knowing that the wake she created has effected many others as it keeps them buoyant in life’s struggles.  For this gift from her we’re forever grateful. Dorothy Twyford had a full life well spent for herself and countless others she loved, comforted and counseled.  A wife, a mother, a grandmother and friend has passed this way one last time, but her footprints remain.

“And fare thee weel, my only Luve,

And Fare thee weel a while!

And I will come again, my Luve,

Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.

From “A Red, Red Rose” by Robert Burns

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