Dorothy A. Hawkins, 62, passed away with family and friends by her side after a year-long battle with cancer on Tuesday, Feb. 25.
Born in River Edge, she was the daughter of the late James R. and Pauline K. Hawkins.
The family later moved to Norwood where she spent most of the rest of her childhood.
During her lifetime, Dorothy had many careers and interests, but above all was a caring person with a great heart.
Her supportive and thoughtful nature was on display often through the years as she cared for many of her nieces and nephews, including serving as a full-time after-school caregiver for three of her nephews for close to 10 years.
She was Aunt Dorothy to a great many children, whether they shared family ties or not.
She held a series of other jobs over the years, most notably being a cook and later the head chef for the Tavern at Memorytown in Mt. Pocono.
She enjoyed crafts like macrame jewelry and painting, with many loved ones’ houses featuring her beautifully painted ceramics.
She loved to cook, and she was an avid gardener.
Anyone who knew Dorothy at all knew she loved animals and dogs, rescuing dozens if not scores of dogs and other animals throughout her life.
Between her love of children, animals, gardening, and good times, Dorothy loved life like few others.
Dorothy and her lifelong roommate of over 40 years, Kathy Bass, enjoyed many great times over the years and were sources of constant support for one another.
Kathy was at her side to the very end.
Dorothy’s older sister, Katherine H. Stromberg, predeceased her in 2019.
She is survived by her brothers James P. Hawkins of Middletown, Robert E. Hawkins of Mahwah, and Anthony R. Hawkins of St Peters, Missouri.
She is survived as well by her nephews, Timothy J. Stromberg, Daniel R. Stromberg, Michael P. Stromberg, Brian R. Hawkins and Anthony J. Hawkins.
Dorothy is also survived by Kathy Bass’s nieces Bobbie Jo Bass Clark, Sabrina Rosol, and Kathleen Bass and nephew, John Bass, who she and Kathy often cared for like they were their own.
Her brother-in-law, Gary L Stromberg, who loved and treated her like his own sister, survives as well and was heavily involved with Kathy Bass and Robert Hawkins to support Dorothy through the struggles with her illness.
Friends and visited Friday, Feb. 28 at Richards Funeral Home, 1440 Union Valley Road in West Milford.
The funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday with family receiving friends from 10-11:00 a.m. prior to the service.
Final disposition is private.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the ASPCA or the Humane Society in Dorothy’s name.