Heckrotte, Dorothy K., 88, September 18, 1929 to December 8, 2017 Dorothy Marie Kuchta Heckrotte (Dot) passed away peacefully in Gallatin, Tennessee, after a lengthy illness of Alzheimer's disease. She is survived by son, Michael Heckrotte and daughter-in-law Suzann Heckrotte; daughter, Laura Edwards and son-in-law John Edwards; and grandsons, Mark Edwards and Paul Edwards. She was predeceased by husband, Robert Heckrotte (Bob); sister, Nancy Fesuk; brother-in-law, Walter Fesuk. She is also survived by two nephews, a grandniece and grandnephew-in-law; a great-grandniece; brother, Harry Kuchta and sister-in-law Ginny Kuchta. Dorothy was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Michael Kuchta and Anna Berezni Kuchta, and spent her childhood in Roseland, New Jersey. She enjoyed playing field hockey while earning her B.A. in Education with a Major in Physical Education and Minors in Health Education and English from Colorado State College of Education in 1952. Her enjoyment of travel started with road trips (complete with many flat tires and no freeways) during college. Dot and Bob were married in 1953 in Caldwell, New Jersey. As Bob was a career Air Force pilot, they raised a family while moving around the world, living in Washington, Texas, Germany, Alabama and California. Her family traveled all around Europe while stationed in Germany, and she discovered the beauty of teakwood in Denmark and skiing in the Alps. Her lasagna was the best, and she always made enough to enjoy cold for breakfast the next morning or heated up for lunch. After settling in Huntington Beach, California, she made a career as a Deputy Probation Officer for the County of Orange from 1969 to 1992, and earned her M.A. in Correctional Counseling from Chapman College in 1974. She and Bob continued to treasure traveling, visiting Alaska, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and Russia. Dorothy was plain-spoken, a straight shooter, an excellent listener, kind and thoughtful to everyone she met, and her quick wit and warm smile charmed both friends and strangers. She passed her lifelong love of reading on to her children, and her extensive, precise vocabulary held fast even against the ravages of Alzheimer's disease. She developed an enthusiasm for bowling that continued well into her retirement. She toured Nepal with her bowling buddies, and the trip featured a spectacular flight over Mount Everest followed by a visit to the Taj Mahal. During retirement, she often visited the downtown library and walked to the pier and back. Other days, she drove to the dog beach and walked the upper path while watching the waves, sky and beach. When her strength gave out, she liked to be driven along the beach on outings. Her favorite dessert was pound cake with nectarines and mango, topped with whipped cream. Dorothy will be greatly missed by her friends and family.

 

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