|WAKE FOREST - Dorothy Murphy Dennis Arrington, 97, of Wake Forest, died Sunday night, December 29, 2013, after several years of declining health. Dorothy overcame many medical obstacles in her lifetime, and fought valiantly at the end. She was born in Louisburg, NC, on June 30, 1916, to the late James Scott and Lillian Murphy Dennis.
Dorothy graduated from the public schools in Louisburg, and attended Louisburg College. In 1952, she married Thomas Mann Arrington III, and moved to his family home in Wake Forest, NC. They were happily married for 45 years until his death in 1997. She enjoyed assisting her husband in the family business, and being a stay-at-home mom to their beloved only child, Hallie. Dorothy also was the longtime caregiver for her mother, from 1967 to 1990.
She was a lifelong member of the Louisburg United Methodist Church, and taught Sunday School there for many of her younger years; but during most of her adult life, she was at home as a “Watchcare” member of the Wake Forest Baptist Church. She was a former member of the Wake Forest Garden Club, the Wake Forest Women’s Club, the Wake Forest Birthplace Society, and the Wake Forest Historic Properties Commission. She also served as a “Grade Mother” for all of Hallie’s elementary school years. In 1996, Dorothy received the “unsung hero” RSVP award from the Northern Wake Senior Center, and was nominated for statewide selection. She also volunteered for the Red Cross Blood Bank for five years.
Dorothy collected angels and antique cake plates for many years. Because she grew up in her grandmother’s boarding house, she learned to cook all the wonderful foods of those lavish buffets. She loved children, and in the 1970’s when the Baptist church and the seminary sponsored a family from Viet Nam who came to live down the street, she lovingly taught them English words and many cultural concepts. Dorothy also loved flowers and rocking on the front porch, especially those days when all the neighbors joined her.
She is survived by her daughter, Hallie, and “son-in-love”, John Hearn of Wake Forest, many cousins, and by many very special students and others to whom she was a surrogate mother during their time in Wake Forest.
Funeral services were held in the Chapel of Bright Funeral Home at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, January 2, 2014 with the Rev. Dr. Thomas Jackson and the Rev. Dr. William Slater officiating. Burial followed in the Wake Forest Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Wake Forest Baptist Church, 118 E. South Ave, Wake Forest, NC 27587; Louisburg United Methodist Church, PO Box 667, Louisburg, NC 27549; or any of the organizations with which Dorothy was involved.
The family wishes to thank all those who have given us love, prayers, and support through all of our illnesses. Special gratitude is extended to BethAnn Gavin and Ann Thomas, who offered such excellent care and friendship through the past several years.
A service of Bright Funeral Home & Cremation Center. (919-556-5811)