Dorothy (Dotsy) Lee Stewart McGahey was born in Melbourne Florida on February 10, 1932. Her childhood was divided between Cocoa and Okeechobee, Florida.
She graduated with a BSN from Emory University in 1956. She married Joseph E. McGahey who preceded her in death in 2019. They were married 66 years. She had four children in four and one half years. Her nursing career included teaching at two community colleges, Florida State University, Plant High school, psychiatric nursing, years of public health nursing, and director of a nursing home; her primary love,however, was obstetrics. She was director of OB nursing at Pahokee Hospital. She lost count of the number of babies she delivered before the doctor arrived. She ended her career in 2000 in the OB department of Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, where she was honored as the oldest nurse in the hospital.
Dotsy has always loved life and people. She never met a stranger and readily shared her thoughts, both positive and negative, with whomever was present. She would do anything for anyone who needed it. Need was her ONLY criteria for helping. Not being able to care for others was probably the most difficult part of her aging. She made every holiday special—cakes in any style requested, homemade Christmas stockings, homemade Halloween costumes, creative gift wrapping, and the same Easter basket with candy purchased from her very small grocery budget. She bottle fed orphaned kittens and put up with an endless list of pets Her children all knew they were loved. Her home was open to ANYONE who needed a place to stay, from traveling evangelists and missionaries to lost teens, those newly released from prison or mental health facilities. She taught all of her children that serving God and our fellow humans was the most important role we have.
She was proceeded in death by her biological father, Neil Stewart, when she was eight months old. Along with her husband, she was preceded in death by her mother and father, Dorothy and Clifford Boyles, sister-in-laws Mary Pase and Janet McGahey, both of whom she considered sisters.
She is survived by four children, Mary Lynn Whitaker
(John), Joseph Edward McGahey Jr. (Shawnie), Beth Bauder (Gus Rathgeber) and Ruth Hutcherson (Michael), 14 grandchildren, and 21 great grandchildren. She is also survived by sister Martha Fuller(Ray) and brother-in-law Dick Pase and multiple friends of decades that she considered family.
Her memorial service will be on September 17, 2 PM at Asbury United Methodist Church.
In lieu of flowers, Donations can be made to Asbury United Methodist Church, Maitland Florida.