Dorothy O. (Smith) Pillarelli

Died March 18, 2017


Dorothy Opal (Smith) Pillarelli, 94, died very peacefully March 18, 2017, at the Villa at Rose City nursing home.

Dorothy was born April 26, 1922, in Monroe, the daughter of Elsworth and Elsie Smith. Dorothy thoroughly enjoyed family time, friends and the outdoors. She loved to knit and crochet, and she spent many enjoyable hours reading all sorts of literature. Dorothy married the love of her life, Alfred Faye Pillarelli, on Feb. 3, 1940. They celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary in February 2015. Her loving husband “Faye” preceded her in death on July 31, 2015. The couple had three children, Nicholas Faye (deceased), Fr. Alfred Miles and Geralyn Sue (Hubbell).

Dorothy and Faye lived in Monroe until moving into the Villa to be close to their two surviving children in 2011. Dorothy, active in civilian service during World War II, was awarded the coveted Certificate of Merit for distinguished wartime service. Women who received that award were commonly referred to as “Rosie the Riveters.” Clubs she belonged to include Salvation Army Ladies Home League, United Methodist Women’s League, Michigan Association of Retired School Personnel, Monroe Senior Citizens, Dundee Senior Citizens, Frenchtown Senior Citizens and others. She worked for Monroe Public Schools and retired from Monroe Community College in 1983, where she worked as a library aide. She volunteered to tutor at-risk children, one of her true joys.

After moving to Rose City, Dorothy and Faye were members of Holy Family Catholic Church, routinely attending Masses offered by the Rev. Patrick Maher. They enjoyed frequent visits from Eucharistic ministers and friends from their church.

Dorothy is survived by two sisters-in-law and a brother-in-law, Barbara Pillarelli and John and Margaret Pillarelli, all of Monroe; and a number of close friends. She was a wife for 75 years, our mother, a loving sister and sister-in-law, beloved aunt and many times over a “great and great-great” grandmother.

Dorothy will be buried in Monroe at Roselawn Cemetery. A memorial Mass will be scheduled later on, date and time to be determined, at Holy Family Church at 516 W. Lincoln St., Tawas City.


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