Cover photo for Dorothy Rita Rothgeb's Obituary
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1920 Dorothy Rita Rothgeb 2023

Dorothy Rita Rothgeb

November 3, 1920 — July 20, 2023

Crofton

Dorothy Rita Rothgeb of Crofton, MD, was born in 1920 in Brooklyn, NY, grew up on Long Island and settled in the Washington DC area in 1941 upon her marriage to Paul Rothgeb, Sr (who predeceased her in 1979.)  She will be lovingly remembered by her daughters Jill Strickland (Bill Strickland), Jennifer Rothgeb (Jim Esposito) and son Frank Rothgeb. She is predeceased by two sons, Paul Rothgeb, Jr, Ron Rothgeb (Patricia Rothgeb) and her youngest daughter Joan Rothgeb (Paul Pinsky.) She is survived by ten grandchildren, Joe Glaze, Scott Glaze, Christian Dahlby, Ronda Kacey, Nicole Rothgeb, Eryn Young, Eric Strickland, Sarah Pinsky, Laura Pinsky and Greg Rothgeb, six great-grandchildren, Tori Legg, Ryan Kacey, Colin Kacey, Evan Strickland, Gia Young, Jimmy Young and two great-great grandchildren, Grayson and Finley Legg.  Dorothy is predeceased by three sisters, Jeanne Zollman, Virginia Frye (her fraternal twin) and Kay Byxbee.
 
Dorothy was blessed to live a very long, healthy life until early June when she was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure.  She attributed her longevity to staying active physically and socially.  Dorothy was involved in several volunteer groups at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, local Democratic Clubs, and various charitable organizations.
 
Right out of high school where she and her twin sister had been swimming champions, Dorothy became an aquanaut in Billy Rose’s Aquacade in the 1939 and 1940 NY World’s Fair.  After marrying and starting a family, Dorothy was home raising her six children. However she always found the time to volunteer in her children’s countless school activities, being a den mother for the Cub Scouts, room mother for school trips and attending nearly all sporting events in which her children participated. Her own favorite athletic endeavor was swimming. During the summers while her children were young, she was a swimming instructor, swim team coach, senior lifesaving instructor and synchronized swimming instructor.  She was a lap swimmer well into her early 80s,  Having grown up a few blocks from the ocean, she never lost her love of the beach.  Whenever she could, she would go to one of her daughters’ beach houses at the Delaware shore, enjoying watching her grandchildren also become beach lovers.
 
In the mid 1960s, Dorothy became a physical education teacher at Elizabeth Seton High School in Bladensburg, MD and quickly developed the athletic department to having a strong basketball team, taking them to the State Championship in their infancy. While there, she also started and coached a swim team.
 
After ten years teaching and coaching, in the mid 1970s, she became the Social Director for the newly built Greenbriar Condominium Community in Greenbelt, MD, organizing trips for the residents to Hawaii, NYC, several cruises to the Caribbean and Bermuda in addition to local trips to shows in Washington DC.  While working full-time at Greenbriar, she became a part-time Liquor Inspector for Prince Georges County to ensure local establishments were not selling alcohol to minors. One of her assigned areas was College Park and asking for an ID from a person consuming alcohol inside the premises would sometimes bring big, burly football players to tears begging “Don’t call my father!”  Her own children are glad she was not on that beat when they were at the University of MD!  She retired from that job at age 81. 
 
While swimming was her favorite sport, women’s college basketball was her second favorite.  She was an avid UMD Terps women’s basketball fan attending several games a season with her daughter Joan.  Each year she thoroughly enjoyed March Madness and alway participated in the playoff pool with Joan’s colleagues and friends.  And four years ago at age 98, she won the pool!  Being extremely competitive, she was quite proud of herself.
 
Dorothy had a kindness and peace about her that everyone she met recognized.  She was a totally devoted mother always concerned about her children’s wellbeing. It was devastating for her to lose three of her six adult children, but she had a strong faith that served her well in handling the many losses in her life. Even in the last weeks of her life, she was concerned about not bothering people who needed to assist her because she had lost the ability to walk.  She lived independently until she was 101. She was three months shy of her 103rd birthday when she passed.  In those nearly 103 years, she positively impacted the lives of many people.  While we are grateful she is now at peace, she will be greatly missed and live in our hearts forever.
 
Dorothy requested that in lieu of flowers, it will be appreciated if donations are made to: 
 
71 O St. NW
Washington, DC. 20001
 
 
 

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Friday, August 11, 2023

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Saturday, August 12, 2023

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