Our beloved Ms. Dottie, island icon, passed away on Sunday, November 24. Ms. Dottie was born in Brooklyn, New York on July 10, 1922.
“She loved teaching children to swim and loved her Marco Island. She touched many, many people’s lives and she will live forever within our hearts”, states Cindy Love, CEO of YMCA of South Collier, in remembrance of long-time Marco YMCA Aquatics Director Miss Dottie.
Dottie was the person who worked diligently to have a public pool on Marco Island at the YMCA. Ms. Dottie, assisted by many of her volunteers, raised funds for the pool’s operations year after year! Her main event was the famous, “Dottie’s Duck Derby.” Many of Dottie’s Ducks can be seen in offices and homes throughout Marco.
Most importantly, Dottie consistently advocated drowning prevention. She wanted every child and adult in her community to know how to be safe around water. On September 13th in 2005, Drowning Prevention Day, Ms. Dottie was honored by the County commissioners for being the most active advocate for water safety in Collier County.
Ms. Dottie served as the Y’s Aquatics Director for over 30 years. She taught over 10,000 people to swim including adult learners. She was teaching second and third generations!
A few years ago, at her retirement party, the YMCA Aquatics Center was named after Dottie in honor of all her years of service to the community.
Dottie also was the host of Tuesday Afternoon Bingo, a member of the Morning Rotary Club, Cancer Society, Red Cross, Pilot Club, Yacht Club and more. She was and will always be an Island icon!
Dottie relocated to Marco Island in 1970, always calling it, “Her Island.” She was also proud of the fact that she was on the cover of LOOK magazine in 1948 as the only female lifeguard at Jones Beach, and as a long-time participant in the Polar Bear Swim events in New York.
Dottie’s last years were spent as a resident of The Carlisle located in Naples, Florida. Dottie is survived by her son, Stuart, three grandsons, Cory, Randy and Todd, and five great-grandchildren. She was also preceded in death by her daughter Nancy.
The family conducted the funeral services and burial at the family plot located in New Jersey.
In memory of Dottie, donations can be sent to the YMCA Ms. Dottie Aquatic Fund, P.O. Box 2529, Marco Island, FL 34145.