Dorothy Gazaway Reese

June 30, 1928 — September 12, 2020

Dorothy Gazaway Reese

Dorothy Gazaway Reese, 92, moved on from this world on Saturday, September 12, 2020. She was born and laid to rest in Gordon County, but lived a life around the world in between. She was born to the late John Miller Gazaway and Ora Mae Fowler. Along with her twin sister Doris, the pair were the youngest of nine. She loved history, honor, and people. She was an archivist. Her genealogy work into the Gazaway family heritage far exceeds what has on record. Her laugh was well-earned and contagious. Laughter came easiest in response to a child’s comment or an animal acting a bit out of the ordinary. She was adventurous. She liked to travel down dirt roads to see where they led. She’d get out of the car and go for a stroll, pick up a few rocks and maybe a flower or two. Perhaps her greatest adventure was marrying a man on leave from the Navy. She toured the world with him. The pair traveled more than 24,000 miles; lived in 12 homes across six states and three countries. The friends they made along the way became family and brought great joy to their life. Dorothy was a great caretaker. She managed a farm in Ranger raising chickens, vegetables, trees and many animals. She’s probably cared for hundreds of dogs, cats, raccoons, opossums, and most recently, bears, in her lifetime. She drove to the dam at carter’s lake twice a day for nearly two years to feed a herd of stray cats. When she saw someone had called animal control to take the cats, she purchased a building, boxed up the cats and relocated them to her home. Dorothy took care of people and animals the way we all should – completely and unconditionally. As a homemaker, she was exceptional. She was an accomplished seamstress and made the best biscuits and gravy in the world. You may think you make the best biscuits, or maybe you think your mom does. You are wrong. Although she was far too humble to admit it, Dorothy made the absolute best biscuits, cakes and cobblers you’ve ever had. Her granddaughter once attended a charity cake auction to purchase a cake Dorothy had baked only to learn she’d been outbid. There’d be no negotiating the price because this was, after all, a “Dorothy Reese cake” and those fortunate enough to have one understood the price. She was the classiest, yet understated, person at every event lucky to have her accept an invite. She didn’t gossip. She kept your secrets. Dorothy was always completely pulled together; from her perfectly-styled hair to crisply-ironed clothes. It was important to her for everyone to look their best even if her grandchildren didn’t understand why they had to stay clean for so long before embarking on a trip to town. She worked hard at everything. Some people try – she achieved. She could grow anything. Flowers were her favorite. Her orchids bloom 11 months out of the year, often arrogantly flourishing in cracked pots. She ran a farm, raised two amazing children and played an important role in raising three grandchildren, as well. She was immensely proud of them and her seven great-grandchildren. She cherished visiting with friends and family. It was a frequent occurrence for her to spend the day visiting with multiple members of the community, where she’d share food from her garden and jams and jellies she’d made. Now, she is having a family reunion in the sky, welcomed first by her son, Randy Reese, who preceded her. She is survived by her husband of 69 years, Maxwell Dexter; her daughter, Laura Gwen Reese and her partner Charles Chambers, of Dalton; grandchildren, Rochelle and Eric Beckstine, of Charleston; April and Bucky Sorrow, of Athens; and Randy and Heather Reese, of Oakman. And, seven great-grandchildren: Piper, Annika, Max, Reese, Fisher, Ada and Donovan. A visitation will be held for family and friends at Thomas Funeral Home, Calhoun, on Thursday, September, 17, from 6 to 7 p.m. A private graveside service will follow. To honor her unrelenting love for animals, donations in her honor can be made to the Humane Society of Georgia. You may leave the family online condolences at Thomas Funeral Home has proudly been entrusted with the care of Dorothy Gazaway Reese.
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Thursday, September 17, 2020

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