Dorothy McCauley of St. Johnsbury passed away peacefully on October 28, at the age of 97, surrounded by her family. She had a gentle soul, a loving heart, and a playful sense of humor. She will be greatly missed by her family and all who knew her.
Dorothy Jean Ewald was born to Harold and Clara Ewald on September 12, 1923 in Emporia Kansas. She grew up mostly in Burns and Enterprise, Kansas, and graduated from high school in Hartford, Kansas. In 1944, she received her nursing degree from the Halstead Hospital School of Nursing and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. For the remainder of World War II, she was stationed at a field hospital on the island of Saipan in the South Pacific. While there, she met Bob McCauley, a Vermonter whose anti-aircraft battalion had been evacuated from Iwo Jima to Saipan to provide security for the hospital. Back home in Kansas after the war, she was surprised to receive a letter from Bob saying he would like to come to visit. They were married a few months later, in September of 1946.
From 1947 to 1960, the couple lived in Burlington, Vermont, where Bob attended UVM. While Bob went to college, medical school, and completed his training, Dorothy ran the household, gave birth to three children, and worked the night shift as an RN at the old Mary Fletcher Hospital. In 1960, the family relocated to St. Johnsbury where Bob set up his medical practice and Dorothy worked as office nurse and bookkeeper.
Outside the family, Dorothy was very active in various groups at the Grace Methodist Church, especially the Friendship Club and the United Methodist Women. She enjoyed volunteering at the Fairbanks Museum, and took particular satisfaction in her time at Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital where she volunteered for over 25 years, only stopping in her 90s when it became physically impossible for her to continue.
Dorothy enjoyed skiing with her family as well as swimming and spending time at the family’s camp at Joe’s Pond. Dorothy also had a lifelong love of music. She played violin in the Kansas state high school orchestra, played the piano for her own enjoyment, sang in the Grace Church choir, and was one of the original members of the Grace Church bell choir. In her later years, she kept an active mind: she liked to read and do crossword puzzles, was a devoted Jeopardy fan, a formidable opponent at Scrabble, an avid birdwatcher, and treasured her travels with neighbor and close friend, Alice Carpenter.
She was predeceased by Bob McCauley, her husband of 39 years; by her daughter Peggy McCauley, of Grantham, NH; by her sister Mary Brubaker of Calexico, California; and by her brother Bill Ewald of Cañon City, Colorado. She is survived by her daughter Sandy McCauley of St. Johnsbury and her son Larry McCauley and his wife Anny Ewing of Chester Springs, PA. Additional survivors are her dear sister-in-law Janet Senecal of Springfield, MA; grandchildren Megan Trenholme of Whitefield, NH; Nate Trenholme of New York, NY; Sam McCauley (Kayla) of Spring City, PA; Henry McCauley of Pensacola, FL; Rob Graham (Nikole) of Palm Harbor, FL; and Rich Graham (Jennifer) of Essex Junction, VT; as well as numerous nieces and nephews and their families. Three great-grandchildren also survive her: Owen, Addie, and Andrew of Essex Junction, VT.
The family would like to express their deepest gratitude to the staff at NVRH for the care and comfort provided to both Dorothy and her family during the final days of her life. A memorial gathering will occur when circumstances permit in 2021. In the meantime, notes of remembrance and sympathy may be sent to the family at 153 Waterman Circle, St. Johnsbury, VT 05819. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the NVRH Auxiliary and mailed to: Terri Schoolcraft, PO Box 905, St. Johnsbury, VT 05819.
Memories and condolences may be shared with family at saylesfh.com.