- Lasting Memories - Dorothy Jean Laird's memorial

Dorothy Jean Laird
Aug. 5, 1924-Nov. 8, 2023
Pleasanton, California

Dorothy Jean Laird, 99, died November 8, 2023 in Pleasanton, California, where she had been a resident for fifty-one years. She was born Dorothy Jean Ofstedahl on August 5, 1924 in Platte, South Dakota, the daughter of Carl Ofstedahl and Josephine Nash. She was known to her family and friends as “Dotty.”

Dotty attended public schools in Platte and Geddes, graduating from Geddes High School in 1942. She then moved to California, living in Glendale for two years, until a friend convinced her to return to So. Dakota and enroll in the University of So. Dakota. There she met fellow student and returning G.I. Ralph Laird Jr and they were married in July 1946.

The young couple moved to California as Ralph began his teaching career. Three sons were born to them, and Dotty was a stay at home Mother in Vallejo and LaVerne. She was active in Phi Beta Phi sorority, the PTA, and the activities of her family.

Dotty returned to college, graduating from Cal Poly Pomona in 1972, and became a teacher – teaching kindergarten and first grade in the Livermore school system until her retirement. Although she retired, she never stopped teaching after her grandchildren were born as she enjoyed spending time with them and teaching them life's lessons whenever she had the opportunity. She also participated in reading programs for children, not only her own grandchildren's at their school but library programs in her community. In retirement, she and Ralph traveled to several countries, enjoyed many visits to their Lake Alpine family cabin, and they were active in community activities. Ralph passed in 2000, three months after celebrating 54 years of marriage.

Dotty was an avid bridge and mahjohngg player, and in later years, she played bingo almost daily. She was an active member of Lynnewood United Methodist Church in Pleasanton and she took pleasure in fellowship with other church members. She continued to travel here and abroad and made new friendships along the way. Dotty loved organizing the use of the family cabin at Lake Alpine and traveling to spend time there whenever she could. She cherished the time she could spend with family and friends as they were so important to her.

After Dotty's passing, a friend's daughter said that Dotty was a ray of light to everyone she came in contact with and described her in three words, “present, interested, and caring.” She was truly all of that and more, an incredible and lovely person.

Dotty was preceded in death by her parents, and her sister Lois and brother Norval. She is survived by her sons John (John Flores), Jim (Oscar Osorio), Tom (Sandra), grandchildren Jeff (Holly), Anna, and Jessie, and numerous nieces and nephews, as well as many friends in Pleasanton. Days before she passed, Jeff and Holly told her the news that she was going to be a great-grandmother.

She will be missed by all those who knew her. Her ashes will be buried next to her husband Ralph's in Santa Rosa Memorial Cemetery. A memorial service to honor her will be held at a later date. Donations can be made to the charity of the donor’s choice.

Tags: teacher/educator

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