Dorothy Ann (Kemp) Wolf
Dorothy Ann (Kemp) Wolf was born October 15, 1937 at Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada to Albert & Anne (Clearie) Kemp. Dorothy passed away peacefully on the evening of October 5, 2020 following an emergency surgical procedure.
Dorothy’s parents had come to Vancouver, BC from Scotland when they were in their early twenties. A few family members from both sides of the Kemp and Clearie families had also come to Canada while most of their families had remained in the old country. Dorothy’s childhood home in East Vancouver was a gathering place for family, friends, soldiers and the local Scottish community as the Kemps were very active in the Sons of Scotland. During holidays, celebrations and throughout the years, everyone gathered at the Kemp home for a good time, big meals, tea or an occasional shot of Scotch served by Dorothy’s father. Anyone who didn’t have a place to go, particularly soldiers during World War II, were invited into the Kemp home. One young man who lived with the Kemp family at this time, Dick Epp, became a big brother and also gave Dorothy and her sisters their Scotty Dog ‘Crutches’. Dorothy had vivid memories of growing up during World War II and always reminded everyone that Canada had entered the war more than two years before the United States. She fondly recalled singing “God Save The King” under the Union Jack before school, exploring Stanley Park by Jeep where her dad was stationed with the Canadian Army, horseback rides to school with the mounted police and hopping streetcars downtown to go shopping with her mother and big sisters. She attended Sir John Franklin Elementary School and Templeton Secondary School in Vancouver. Dorothy acquired a lifelong love and talent for shopping, baking, cooking, canning, sewing and gardening from her Mum during these early years. Later in life, Dorothy continued these traditions as she was always happy to open her home to family, friends, visiting doctors, medical students, tennis players and her children’s friends where everyone was provided a big meal and a place to stay when needed. Dorothy loved making holiday dinners for family & friends and in later years she frequently made a full Thanksgiving feast many times throughout the year, once each for Canadian and American Thanksgivings and a few more times just because it’s a comforting meal.
Dorothy enjoyed travel from a young age when she would accompany her parents on long road trips throughout Canada and the Western U.S. and while boating with family and friends along the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. She first visited the Yakima Valley as a young girl while on a trip to Glacier Park with her parents. Due to World War II, Dorothy didn’t meet her grandparents until the age of thirteen. To visit her grandparents and her Scottish relatives she and her mother crisscrossed Canada and the United States aboard steam trains such as The Milwaukee Road Hiawatha and the Canadian Pacific Royal Hudson. They sailed across the North Atlantic aboard Cunard steam ships RMS Scythia & RMS Samaria where they witnessed icebergs up close and the destruction along the Normandy Coast of France. They sailed into Southampton, England where they birthed next to the much larger Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth and again boarded trains for the long trip north through London and on to Scotland. On her first trip to Scotland, Dorothy met all of her mother’s sisters who had snuck aboard their train as a surprise during a brief stopover at a train station. While visiting Scotland Dorothy spent time with her extended family in her parents’ hometowns of Troon, Ayrshire and Bucksburn, Aberdeenshire. Dorothy’s Scottish cousins chided her as they had never seen a lass (girl) wear pants before but they remained as close as siblings for the rest of their lives. Dorothy was able to take her husband and children to stay in her family’s home in Troon many times.
On July 5, 1952 the Kemps moved to Seattle where Dorothy attended Roosevelt High School, graduating with the class of 1955. As a teenager she fulfilled every kid’s dream by working at the candy counter of Woolworths in the brand new Northgate Mall. In high school Dorothy and her friends traveled to Palm Springs and Las Vegas on Spring Breaks. During the summer of 1959, Dorothy and her parents proudly became U.S. Citizens where the examiner told her she would meet somebody special very soon. About two weeks later while riding an elevator returning to work in her lab at The University of Washington School of Dentistry she gave a stick of gum to a medical student. That evening she dropped her parents off at the airport for a trip to Scotland. When she returned home the guy from the elevator called her on the phone and then went over to her house to introduce himself. Six weeks later when Dorothy’s parents returned home, she was engaged! On June 25, 1960, Dorothy married Yakima native John A. Wolf Jr., at Olympic View Community Church in Seattle, a union which lasted 55 years. They were the first couple to honeymoon at Rosario Resort on Orcas Island where construction workers doubled as bartenders and servers. They made their first home on Lake Union in Seattle and later resided in the Sandpoint area. Dorothy served as Secretary for John’s medical school class and typed all of his school papers including the week John graduated when she also gave birth to their first child.
In the summer of 1967 John & Dorothy Wolf moved to Yakima where Dorothy helped John to establish his medical practice as a Urologist and Surgeon. Dorothy was a homemaker, involved mother to her children and their activities and an active member of the community. She drove all over the valley frequently for kids’ activities and all over the Pacific Northwest on many weekends with a station wagon full of young tennis players. Upon moving to Yakima, Dorothy was taken in by a group of senior women and her dear neighbors on Gilbert Drive who immersed her in the Yakima community. She was active in many organizations including: over 53 years as a member of Junior Aid & Junior League of Yakima where horse shows, blood drives and cookbooks were her favorite committees. Other favorite organizations included: Allied Arts Council, Alice Miller Guild, volunteering in the flower shop at St. Elizabeth Hospital, Nine O’Clock dance club, PTA’s, Mad Money Girls and Stockin' Up investment clubs. Dorothy served on the boards of many organizations including serving as President: Yakima County Medical Auxiliary, Community Living of Washington, Mary McCarty FIJI Mothers’ Club; Treasurer: Yakima Tennis Club, Yakima Youth Baseball, The 1978 American Legion Baseball World Series as well as her condominiums in Yakima, Bellevue and Kona, Hawaii. In the 1970’s she was proud to have served as one of the first women board members of Yakima Youth Baseball and the Yakima Tennis Club. In the days following the historic 1976 fire she helped form the fundraising committee and made the first & largest individual donation to rebuild Yakima’s Capitol Theatre, a place which was very special during her husband’s youth. Over the years she helped to organize an immunization program at every school in Yakima County and a baby wellness clinic in East Yakima. She created a testicular cancer early detection program (TSE) for the local high schools which she later presented to the American Medical Association in Chicago. This program was eventually implemented in high schools across the United States and helped to save countless lives. When students showed up to school without proper clothing in the winter the principals knew who to call. If Dorothy couldn’t locate the needed items she would drive a student downtown to buy them the items they needed. Dorothy loved to entertain and often hosted fundraisers and events for organizations and causes she cared about. She enthusiastically volunteered to open her home as host of many celebrations, wedding receptions, showers and wakes for family, friends and neighbors. She enjoyed needle point & sewing and frequently made dresses and outfits for weddings especially for children and many costumes for Halloween and school plays. She was born with a green thumb and always maintained beautiful yards and gardens up through the summer of 2020 when she still maintained her gardens and over twenty large flower pots and hanging baskets.
Upon moving to Yakima, Dorothy was informed that she had to learn to ski and to play tennis. She learned to ski at Franklin Park under the instruction of Don Keith (the local funeral director) and later enjoyed many fun ski trips with friends to Sun Valley in addition to family ski trips to White Pass and Mt. Bachelor. Las Vegas was a regular destination to visit Dorothy’s sister Flo in addition to playing the slots and attending the legendary shows featuring the Rat Pack, Johnny Carson and Glen Campbell who they saw perform with a full Scottish pipe band. The Big Island of Hawaii was a favorite family destination with John & the kids and California (especially Napa Valley and San Diego) was a frequent destination with friends and family. Dorothy & John were long time season ticket holders of the Washington Huskies football team and members of the Tyee Club. For Christmas 1977 she surprised her family with tickets to the 1978 Rose Bowl, Rose Parade and a trip to Disneyland. Dorothy enjoyed decades of social and family activities as a member of the Yakima Valley Ski Club, Sandpoint Country Club and the Yakima Country Club where she served on every social committee. At the Yakima Tennis Club she helped run the juniors program, organized many youth tournaments, enjoyed many fun tournaments with John and the Calcutta tournaments, the annual Fourth of July parties and the weekly Lady’s Day.
Dorothy is survived by daughter Stephanie Ann Nevue (Paul); sons John Arthur “BJ” Wolf IV and Robert Kemp Wolf; She was known as “Ninnie” to grandsons Alex, Andrew & Logan Nevue. Dorothy is also survived by her oldest sister Margret H. Purdy of Vernon, British Columbia; Brothers-in-law William R. Wolf (Jean) & Jan P.C. Wolf (Sharon) of Seattle and many beloved nieces, nephews and extended family in Canada, Scotland, Northern Ireland, England and across America. Dorothy is predeceased by and will rest for eternity in Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband John A. Wolf, Jr. M.D., her parents Albert & Anne Kemp and sister Florence Hancock. Dorothy is also predeceased by John’s parents John & Anne (Hutson) Wolf, sister-in-law Pat Wolf and brothers-in-law Warren Purdy & Col. Gordon Hancock USAF and many beloved members of the Clearie, Kemp, Wolf & Logan clans. As a girl, Dorothy was crushed by the loss of two close cousins and she never forgot them as they were like brothers to her: F/Sgt Lloyd Phillips RCAF (MIA 1943) and David Clearie.
At Dorothy’s request there will be no services. To help individuals with developmental disabilities, contributions in Dorothy’s memory can be made to Community Living 125 N. 50th Avenue Yakima, WA 98908 community-living.org