Dottie Gerrity Obituary, Collier Community Foundation Past Board Chair Has Passed Away

Dottie Gerrity Obituary, Death – On April 3, 2023, Dorothy (“Dottie”) Gerrity, 83, of Bellaire, Michigan and Naples, Florida passed away gently and in the company of her loved ones. In Detroit, Michigan, on March 9, 1940, Dorothy Lee Arnold was born. She is Lee Edward Arnold and Dorothy Helen Arnold’s middle child.

Her parents, her older sister Sharon Shore, and her husband Robert (“Bob”) Gerrity predeceased Dottie. Her children Dan Gerrity of Seattle, Washington (Marjorie Benditt), Patrick Gerrity of Ann Arbor, Michigan (Lauren Gerrity), Neil Gerrity of Bellaire (Holly Gerrity), and Erin Fry of Dallas, Texas survive her.

She is also survived by her younger sister Kathy Stafford of Bellaire (Barnaby Fry). Together with her many beloved friends and family members, Dottie is also survived by her nieces, nephews, eight grandchildren, one great-grandson, and a second great-grandson on the way. Dottie completed her high school education at Poland Seminary in 1958 and was a part of the National Honor Society (and was the homecoming queen).

Dottie met Bob when attending Michigan State University after high school, where he helped her on the first day of class by carrying her bags in. On September 10, 1960, Dottie and Bob got married. They later had children in Grand Blanc, Michigan, and later Ann Arbor. In 1974, Dottie and Bob relocated to Wooster, Ohio, along with their four kids. Dottie enrolled in the College of Wooster as the first elder student at that time to get her bachelor’s degree. She was 36 years old when she earned her degree in sociology. She also taught English at Wooster High School during this time, and numerous books have published her poems.

She furthered her staunch political and social justice beliefs at Wooster. Dottie was a devoted feminist, a Democrat, and an advocate for the rights of minorities and women. Dottie returned to Ann Arbor in 1979 and started a job in construction, initially working on the Northbury Condominium project. Together, Dottie and Bob visited numerous countries and made a lot of friends. They resided in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, London, England, and Sao Paulo, Brazil before returning to Northern Michigan and Southwestern Florida.

Dottie excelled at volunteering. She worked as a volunteer for many years at the Torch Lake Yacht Club in Bellaire and the Dean’s Office of Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City, Michigan. Dottie completed the Greater Naples Leadership Training (Class Number 2) and volunteered for many years in Naples. She served as the Chair of the Collier County Community Foundation, a Board Member of Fun Time Early Learning Academy, a Member of the First Book Collier County Advisory Committee,

a Member of the GAIN Committee, the Secretary of the Board of First Book of Collier County, a Founding Member of the CHS Healthcare Foundation, and a Board Member of Collier County. Dottie also earned the Outstanding Leadership Award from Greater Naples Leadership, Inc. and was named one of the Women of Initiative by the Women’s Foundation of Collier County. When she was assisting others, Dottie was happiest.

Many people, especially young people who required an open heart, a listening ear, or even a place to stay, have benefited greatly from her influence. On April 8th, a private funeral will be held in Naples, and this summer, a Celebration of Life will be held at Dottie’s parents’ house on Torch Lake. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Dottie’s honor may be made to the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, 2846 3 Mile Rd. N., Traverse City, Michigan 49686, or the Collier County Community Foundation, 1110 Pine Ridge Road, Suite 200, Naples, Florida 34108, online at