Dorothy Hull Fetherston of South Kingstown, Rhode Island and a resident of Brookdale – South Bay, passed away on November 2, 2019 after battling declining health over the past few months.
Dorothy was born on March 18th, 1924 as the second of four children to William and Dorothy Tiebout in Willimantic, Connecticut. Her family later moved to Baldwin, Long Island where she grew up in a loving home with her sister and two brothers (Leah, Bill and Ernie). Dorothy was a strong, competitive athlete who loved swimming, basketball and field hockey. After graduating from Baldwin High School, started her business career with the Bell Telephone company and worked her way up into a sales role targeting consumer and commercial markets. She was also very active in the youth fellowship program at the Baldwin Methodist Church and began singing in the choir at the age of 17. She eventually became president of the Methodist Youth Fellowship (MYF) program.
It was at a youth fellowship reception for veterans returning from World War II where Dorothy met Thomas Hull Fetherston, who was encouraged by his mother to go socialize at the church event. According to Tom some years later, he was completely taken by Dorothy and doubted he was worthy of her company. On September 5th, 1948, Tom and Dorothy were married at the same church where they first met.
Dorothy continued to work at the phone company while Tom finished his Bachelor of Science degree at Hofstra College in 1950 (now Hofstra University). Recognizing that Tom wanted to go into research and eventually teach, Dorothy encouraged him to continue on to get his Masters Degree (MS’51). While many of her friends were starting families right after marrying, Dorothy wanted to make sure her partner in life was ready to launch his successful career. Tom worked briefly at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory of the Carnegie Institute and later became a biology teacher at Oceanside High School. They had a plan and they stuck to it. They settled on Alhambra Road in Baldwin in 1950; and in 1954, their first son Thomas was born followed by David in 1956.
After taking time off to be a full time Mom, Dorothy continued her business career in 1967 in a small independent film company in Baldwin, but soon networked into an opening at Hofstra University, serving as the administrative assistant to the director of scheduling. She quickly worked her way through the ranks of the administration to serve in the Department of Grants and Contracts which led to an opportunity in the office of the President of the university. She eventually landed the position of Director of Scheduling, working with outside clients to run large events on campus as well as internal clients from the faculty and administration. Interestingly, she came full circle, landing the job for which she was originally an administrative assistant. Dorothy retired from Hofstra after 28 years of service. But since both she and Tom loved the academic environment and enjoyed the company of students, they both worked together for several years part time running tours for visitors and proctoring exams.
In 1997, Dorothy encouraged Tom to relocate to Rhode Island to be closer to their sons, both of whom came to Rhode Island with the United States Navy. They bought a house on Paul Avenue in South Kingstown and recreated their New England style Cape they left on Long Island. Filled with antiques as well as Dorothy’s needlepoint and quilting, Dorothy made everyone who walked through the door part of her family. After Tom passed away on January 22, 2015, Dorothy moved her home to the Brookdale South Bay senior living center where she made numerous friends among the residents and staff. She was always known for her positive spirit and sense of humor that brought great joy to her new community. We are all very grateful to the team of dedicated caregivers for the love and support they gave Dorothy throughout the years.
Dorothy was a loving, caring lady who was always upbeat with a wonderful sense of humor. Many of her son’s friends considered her to be their second Mom. She survived by her devoted sons Thomas and David and her grandchildren Emily and Brad, daughters-in-law Janet and Mary and an extended family of loving nieces and nephews from the Tiebout side of her family. Dorothy Hull and Thomas Hull Fetherston were laid to rest together on November 9th, 2019 at the Corbin Cemetery in Sherman, Connecticut, surrounded by their family.
A memorial service in her honor will be held at Christ United Methodist Church, 2291 Kingstown Road, Kingston, Rhode Island 02881 on Saturday November 30 at 11:00 AM. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to Christ United Methodist Church. For guest book and condolences, averystortifuneralhome.com.