Dorothy Marie Perrelli of South Burlington, passed away quietly at Vermont Respite House on September 28th at the age of 93. The youngest child born to Karolina Martina Larsen and Erik Thomsen, a blacksmith of Dwight, Illinois, Dorothy began her 71 years of married life to Albert Perrelli on New Year’s Day in 1944 when Al was able to get weekend leave from the Navy. Together they traveled the world following Al’s career, and lived in New Delhi, Brussels, and Jamaica. Dorothy worked in various secretarial and office administrative jobs, including State Farm Insurance, the Office of Price Administration in Marseilles, Il, Christ Lutheran Church in Clarenden Hills, IL, personal secretary to the U.S. Ambassador to India wife, Steb Bowles, President of the American Women’s Club of New Delhi in 1965, supporting Al in his professional work, and as proofreader for the Customs Cooperation Council in Brussels.
As the quiet and humble family matriarch and helpmate to Albert, Dorothy was much-loved by all, maintained contact with everyone, and was the keeper of the family tree. She embraced her husband’s family and ‘was more Perrelli than a Perrelli’. Longtime friends in India called her ‘our American mother.’ Friends and family alike describe her as kind, caring and full of grace. She was a tenacious and determined survivor in the face of multiple illnesses throughout her lifetime. She was highly accomplished at many types of needlework and was an avid knitter right until she died, contributing hats to the UVM Medical Center preemie unit.
Dorothy is survived by her loving husband, Albert Perrelli of South Burlington, her children Daniel Perrelli and Tena Perrelli, grandson Nate Venet, granddaughter Ursula Seymour and grandson in-law Robert Seymour, great-grandchild Emily Seymour and ‘special bonus’ great-grandchildren Bobby, Ashley and Matt Seymour, nieces and nephews Thomas Dorris, Joanna McCutchon, Paul Thomsen, Helen Pearl Jones, Catherine Perrelli, Mary Louise Baumgartner, Vincent Perrelli, Barbara Ellen Richardson, and many grand and great-grand nieces and nephews. Dorothy is predeceased by her siblings, Astrid Thomsen, Agnes Thomsen, Kammar Dorris, Eiler Thomsen , Donald Thomsen, her nephews Erik Thomsen, Michael Perrelli Sr., and niece Mary Anne Perrelli.
A memorial celebration of Dorothy’s life will be held on Monday, November 9th from 3-5 pm at The Pines Senior Living Community, 7 Aspen Dr. in South Burlington.