Cover photo for Dorothy M. Jandrew's Obituary
Dorothy M. Jandrew Profile Photo
1926 Dorothy 2022

Dorothy M. Jandrew

February 10, 1926 — December 18, 2022

Dorothy M. Jandrew, 96, of Nicholville passed away on Sunday, December 18th, 2022. Visitation will be held  at Hammill Funeral Home in St. Regis Falls from 4:00PM-7:00PM on Tuesday, December 27, 2022. A Funeral Mass will be held on Wednesday, December 28th, at St. Ann Church in St. Regis Falls at 11:00AM.

Dorothy was born February 10th, 1926, a snowy winter night, on the family farm in Dickinson after her father took the horses and sleigh to Nicholville to bring the physician. She was the second oldest of seven children of Donald and Beatrice Jessmer Richards.

Growing up on a farm during the depression, there was always a lot of hard work, but the siblings managed to make their own fun. She, along with her brothers and sisters, attended a one-room school; a long walk in winter weather. Dorothy went to St. Regis Falls Central School for high school, quitting in tenth grade to run the family farm while her father went to work at the plant in Massena. She was very proud of getting her GED after her children left home.

Dorothy was a “looker”, with cornflower blue eyes and auburn hair, and she eventually caught the eye of Vernon “Buck” Jandrew. The couple was married in a civil ceremony in 1947 and again in church. They were best friends, caring and respectful partners-in-life and worked hard to give their children a solid upbringing and a good life.

Dorothy and Buck both worked at Bausch and Lomb in Rochester, NY, after they were first married, then moved back to the North Country, where they worked at Tru-Stitch. Buck became a certified welder and they moved for construction jobs to Orchard Park, NY Plattsburgh where Buck worked on the construction of Plattsburgh Air Force Base and then he worked doing high-steel welding on the St. Lawrence Seaway project, in Massena, NY. They returned to Dickinson Center and Buck was hired at General Motors, while Dorothy stayed home with their two daughters.

After Buck died, she went to work as a paraprofessional, working with teacher Constance Benham at St. Regis Falls Central School in the high school special education room. She loved it and the children loved her, many keeping in touch with Dorothy to present day.

Dorothy was a feisty lady, fiercely loyal to her family, had a great sense of humor and was a lover of all animals. She had many wonderful dogs and cats over the years that lived to a very old age because of her love and care. She always had a Cocker Spaniel, but also adopted every stray that came along. Speedy, her orange cat and constant lap companion, is now missing her terribly. 

She never complained about circumstances that didn’t go her way, was always happy with whatever gift she was given and was a kind person who was always willing to help. Dorothy had a stubborn streak and always stood up for what she believed was right. 

Three-year old, curly-haired Dorothy and her four-year old sister, Reba, were having their portrait taken by a professional photographer. Little Dorothy was reluctant to sit for the picture and the photographer gave her a doll to coax her to sit still. Never having had a doll, she didn’t want to return it after the photograph. She wasn’t sure how they retrieved the doll, but she remembered not wanting to relinquish it because the photographer “gave” it to her.

Dorothy instilled in her children how lucky they were to be Americans, to enjoy freedom, to have enough food and to not live in a country where people were oppressed and afraid. She epitomized the “All-American Hometown Girl”, fireworks and apple pie. She really enjoyed Dickinson’s Memorial Day parade, which always started outside of town, in front of the family home. There was always a line of people wanting a drink or with some other need, who were never turned away. 

She loved Christmas. When her daughters were young and the family was close to just making ends meet, the family had fun making Christmas gifts for relatives. The house smelled like fresh-baked filled-cookies and while her husband was at work in the afternoon, she would take the hand saw, the red toboggan, daughters in tow, and cut down the yearly Christmas tree. While tobogganing with her daughter, they flew over a hill and she broke her tailbone when they had a hard landing.

She had a strong sense of civic duty and she voted in 20 presidential elections, along with all the local elections. She volunteered for many years as a poll worker at Dickinson’s elections.

In 1976, the Dickinson’s Town Board asked her to be Town Historian, a position she held for almost 20 years. Also in 1976, with the help of a lot of wonderful town volunteers, she organized a Bicentennial Celebration with a parade. She and her husband, Buck, interviewed and recorded the town’s elderly residents, Reverend Smith, aged 104, being the oldest. They turned those stories and other history about Dickinson into a book entitled, “Dickinson’s Yesteryears in the Adirondack Foothills”. A second book was in the works.

She was a 4-H Leader and so enjoyed working with the children.Dorothy and her husband opened a ceramic shop in downtown Dickinson Center, which she continued to operate after her husband died. Saturday mornings she reserved for children. It seemed every child in Dickinson showed up! There was lots of fun and laughter.

For a few years, she and Buck operated a sugar bush, making maple syrup and Dorothy made maple cream and “sugar” on snow for her daughters and their friends.

Dorothy had a life-long strong faith, a believer in angels. She enjoyed gardening, ceramics and watching the birds at the feeder. It was a standing joke that she missed her calling by not owning a professional moving company. She truly enjoyed rearranging furniture. When her daughters were younger, the upright piano didn’t make it upstairs, but she moved it, alone, to every room in the house at one time or another. Her husband worked the 4-O’clock shift and often joked that he could come from work in the middle of the night and end up falling on the floor because she had moved a piece of furniture on which he was attempting to sit.

Dorothy loved to learn and was a voracious reader. She enjoyed biographies the most.

Surviving are her daughters, Joy Jandrew-Davis; Wanda Parker; granddaughter, Athena (Tina) Parker; grandson, Ernie Parker; and great-grandson, Richard (Richie) Parker. Also surviving are two sisters, Winona Marshall (late Lionel); and Donna Chambers (late Bernard “Bud”); a sister-in-law, Cyndie Richards; along with many nieces and nephews and their descendants; and an “adopted” granddaughter, Pamela Charleson.

She was predeceased by her husband; Vernon “Buck” N. Jandrew; her parents; Donald and Beatrice Richards and her siblings, Reba (Joe Lemieux); Bernard (Maureen Caskinette); Philip (Linda Minch) and Andrew (Martha Rusaw and Rita Bombard). She was also predeceased by nieces and nephews, Catherine Ann Richards, (1956 – 1957) and Andrew Richards, (1959 – 2010), both children of Andrew and Martha Richards; Patrick Lemieux (1948 – 2019), son of Reba and Joseph Lemieux; and Virginia Swakopf, (1957 – 2003), daughter of Bernard and Maureen Richards.

She was also predeceased by all of her husband’s family, her in-laws, Napoleon and Nellie Jandrew; and brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: Leo Jandrew (Pearl Martin and Jennie Dupree); Elmer “Joe” Jandrew; Raymond Jandrew (Doris Jerome); Eileen LaVoy (Elton); Myril Richards (Howard); Nola Collette (Edward); Isabell (with whom Dorothy shared a special bond); Donald Jandrew (Elma Baker); Evelyn Jerome (Rolland), son of Betty Campbell (Wilfred). Also predeceased by nieces and nephews: Harold “Sonny” Jandrew (1929 - 2012); James Jandrew (1932 – 2005), both sons of Leo Jandrew and Pearl Martin; Gary Jandrew (1948 – 2014), son of Raymond and Doris Jandrew; Wilfred “Billy” Campbell, Jr. (1951 –1982), son of Betty and Wilfred Campbell; Donald Jandrew (1953 – 1954) and Darcy May Jandrew (1970 –1970), both children of Donald and Elma Jandrew.

Dorothy also missed her friends, Geraldine Pelkey, Pearl Brown, Betty Barney, Sarah Goodnow Welsh and Ella Goodnow, Dixie White, Conny Benham, and Betty and Ray Charleson.

She especially missed her weekly hour-long phone chats with her brother Philip, after he passed away.

She always told us, “take your vitamins and go to church”; and “duct tape can fix anything.”

The family is very grateful to Athena (Tina) Parker, Dorothy’s granddaughter, who was her companion and cared for Dorothy for the last 20 years. She treated Dorothy with tender loving care and unselfishly helped her with day-to-day life, which allowed her to stay in her home.

Since Dorothy was such an animal lover, in lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to the Potsdam Humane Society, 17 Madrid Avenue Potsdam, NY 13676, or online at: www.potsdamhumanesociety.org/wp/?page_id=125

Dorothy will be laid to rest at St. Ann Cemetery in the spring. Arrangements are entrusted to Hammill Funeral Home where memories and words of condolences can be shared with the family at www.hammillfh.com.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dorothy M. Jandrew, please visit our flower store.

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