Dorothy Margaret Hengtgen

October 27, 1923 ~ September 5, 2018 (age 94)
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Dorothy grew to have many names: daughter, sister, friend, wife, aunt, mother and grandmother.


She was born in Roslyn and became a coal miner’s daughter to Jack and Maggie Dalisky on Oct. 27th, 1923. She was a sister to Elmer, Melvin, Harry, Kay, Gladys, Dolly and Patty. She attended grade school in Roslyn and walked to CleElum to high school. Shortly after graduation in 1941 she moved to the big city with her good friends Bernie and Marge where they rented an apartment in downtown Seattle. She worked as a waitress for The Dollie Madison Restaurant, a courier for the local pharmacies and a clerk for Kresses – which was a five and dime store.


She and her girlfriends enjoyed going to the many dances and local parks. Her friend Bernie met a sailor at one of the dances and wanted her to double date with his sailor friend Joe. She agreed but wasn’t pleased when he showed up very drunk. He later apologized and said he drank too much because he was nervous about meeting her. He asked for a second date and she agreed. She later had second thoughts and decided to stand him up. As chance would have it she ran smack into him a couple blocks away from the apartment. He then said he would forgive her if she would go out with him the following night. The rest became history and within a few months on the day after Christmas they exchanged wedding vows in the little white church in Roslyn. The navy soon stationed Joe in San Diego where Dorothy followed and then onto Newport, RI where they spent the first couple years of their marriage.


Dorothy and Joe started their family and their first child, Joan, arrived on May 1st, 1944 in Seattle and there would be seven others to follow – Jean, Carol, Joe, Linda, Mike, Jim and John. The family settled in West Seattle. Dorothy spent many hours preparing meals of which you could request anything you wanted. The day continued with numerous house chores, sewing and mending the clothes for the family, helping with homework and much refereeing. She would take time to have an occasional cup of coffee with the neighbors. Dorothy was a grandmother to Jeanna, Janese, Rudy, Jennifer, Christina, Lane, Nick, Joe and Jessica. She was also a great grandmother to Tyson, Grae, Cheyenne, Michael, Daniel, Joy and Harper.


Family was everything to Dorothy and Sunday was the special day. The day would start with the family attending Mass, having a big breakfast prepared by Joe, which was the only meal he knew how to cook, then an early dinner and off to visit the relatives. The holidays were also very important to Dorothy. She would deck out the house and prepare very festive meals which were generally shared with relatives.


If you Google “The Greatest Generation” you will find that Dorothy was at the end of this generation. Because of war time and traditional men’s careers, focus was placed on their accomplishments. Women have at times been overlooked, however it is said, “Behind every man is a good woman.” The children of Dorothy will tell you this is definitely the case here. She said more with her silence and example than Joe did speaking very frankly, not to say he wasn’t a great man and father. They made a good team.


If she ever had a bad day, you would never know it. For all the years that she tirelessly cared for her family, she earned the honor of sainthood. However if she won at Bingo you are going to know it. She waited until her family was raised and had some discretionary dollars to take Bingo seriously. The family didn’t know how much she enjoyed it until she took a trip to Reno with her sister Kay. Mike remembers on the return of the trip he asked her how the trip was. She talked for about an hour and he knew then that was not going to be the last trip to the casino. He remembers Joe smiling and rolling his eyes as she shared her adventures. That certainly wasn’t her last trip to the casinos. She spent many a wonderful hour dobbing her cards and putting money in the slot machines. We believe the biggest jackpot she won was $16,000.


Sadly on this last April 21st, while visiting her daughter Linda, she fell, had a heart attack and broke a bone in her neck. She was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup where later she suffered a stroke. The doctors said she would last only a few days but Dorothy to their amazement proved them wrong. She never returned home but for the next five months she made the best of what God had dealt her. Out of some of life’s biggest challenges comes lasting experiences.



 When attending her sister Dolly’s funeral, Dolly’s son, Jim, said that his family had the opportunity to have a long good bye. Since the time of her fall there wasn’t a day that went by that she didn’t have one of her children by her side. During the first two months it was 24/7. All of us were given the gift of a long good bye. During this time she continued to be the example to us all on how to do life. She maintained a positive attitude and a great sense of humor. She was a great mother and mentor every day of her children’s lives. Dorothy was greatly loved and will be missed.    

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