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Dorothy Craven

January 15, 2022

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Dorothy (Cowie) Craven, 93, passed away on January 15, 2022 in the embrace of her children.

Lisa (Bruce) Touma, Brad (Nancy) Craven and Dru Warren remember their mother as fiercely devoted and unconditionally loving to them.  She was always present and gave of her time generously and of her heart fully. It was a simple recipe for providing a happy childhood.   Motherhood was Dorothy’s favorite role. This is ironic for a woman who often said “I never particularly wanted babies.” In the final hours of her life, she said “my babies…” She had been won over.

Dorothy was predeceased by her husband, Dr. Herbert W. Craven in 2012.  They started dating as teenagers and enjoyed  61 years of an enviable marriage.  They never ran out of interesting conversation and they never fell out of love. Minutes before her final breath, two of her last words were “Love Herbie.” Truer words were never spoken. 

Dorothy was also predeceased by her parents, Wilson and Alice (Witzgall) Cowie who set the bar pretty high for their only child. “Willie” and Alice provided the moral and ethical center of the family and did so with great love, humor, and grace. She was as devoted to her parents as they were to her.

Her four grandchildren, Matt (Allison), Paige (Nate), Alex, and Georgia loved their “Marnie.” She embraced them with her warmth and generosity. They were amused by and proud of her contemporary senses of style and humor. She was pretty cool. Dorothy delighted in attending their athletic and theatrical events and took pride in their accomplishments in both school and career, but mostly she just loved having them near. Family was everything. 

Dorothy was devoted to her dogs, particularly Willie, her last dachshund (they grew old together) and even Suzette, her ill-tempered French poodle, who had an unfortunate taste for blood, particularly Brad’s.

Dorothy did not participate in knitting, crafting, or drinking tea. She heartily enjoyed a properly mixed dry Southern Comfort Manhattan, straight up, ice on the side, twist of lemon. It was a sorry bartender who got it wrong. She was a master cook, hostess,and  party-giver. Described by those who knew her as kind, witty, and charming --  she welcomed folks warmly into her life. She could be found at her writing table for hours per day corresponding to friends, family and acquaintances. She penned detailed letters, thoughtful notes of condolence or congratulations, hand-picked celebratory cards (oft spicey), and the occasional tart expression of disappointment about a product or service not properly rendered. 

Despite all of her efforts, Dorothy was not noted for her talents at the keyboard, The piano was fortunately located in the basement laundry room and her playing was best enjoyed with both washer and dryer in full operation. Her singing, however, was always lovely. Three days before her death, in a nod to her German heritage, she entertained her children and others with a rousing version of “Du, Du, Liegst Mir Im Herzen.” Her adored great grandson, Wilson, will have memories of his Marnie that will “Little Sir Echo” on forever.

Dorothy loved to travel!  She and Herb enjoyed winters on the beach in Florida with pals,

extended visits with their daughter, Dru, in California, and trips to see their honorary daughter Gerri in Canada. Family cruises, and international journeys to Europe, Asia, and Africa were exciting and created lasting memories. Summers in Wolfeboro NH were Dorothy’s favorite times and she reveled in preparing and presiding over 10PM, two hour “Craven Dinners.” Although Dorothy thought nothing of exploring the streets of Egypt or Turkey in her eighties, she was reluctant to take a left turn on Route 28 in Salem. Go figure. 

Dorothy treasured her two lifelong friends Marilyn and Irene and they logged hundreds of telephone hours per year for decades.

Dorothy's family would like to recognize the staff of Nevin’s Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Methuen for their attentive and compassionate care during the last phase of Dorothy’s life. They extend particular gratitude to Sue and Patricia for the difference that they made. Any donations to the Life Enrichment Department of this facility would be a fitting tribute to Dorothy.  Brad and Dru would like to honor their sister Lisa’s exquisite daily devotion to their mother throughout the years and particularly during the most challenging of times.

A Gathering in Dorothy’s honor will be held in a warmer and healthier time later this year.

Arrangements are by the Goundrey & Dewhirst Funeral Home 42 Main St., Salem, NH. To leave an online condolence, please visit Dorothy’s tribute page at www.goundreydewhirstfuneral.com.


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