Dorothy Jean Wallace Finwall Obituary

Dorothy Jean Wallace Finwall



Date of birth: February 3,1936, Chicago Illinois

Date of passing: March 28, 2021, St. Joseph, Michigan



Dorothy Jean Wallace Finwall passed away peacefully at home on March 28, 2021.



Dorothy Jean was the eldest child of Robert C. Wallace and Anne Prendergast. Preceding Dorothy in death are her parents, her beloved Aunt Jean Wallace Masters, many aunts and uncles, and her sisters Arlene Giglio, Annabelle Brinell, Susan Bratelin, Marianne O’Neill, Delores Wallace, and Jeanine Krask, and brothers William Wallace and Donald Wallace. Dorothy was the eldest sister of the Wallace family and is survived by brothers Robert Wallace and Joseph (Sue) Wallace.



Dorothy married Donald A. Finwall and together they had seven children, who like their parents, first names all began with a “D”: Doreen, Donald, Daniel, Douglas, Dianne, Darcey and Denise. She was blessed with a growing family including many grand and great grandchildren:



Jessica DuRocher, grandchild, Charlie Johan, great grandchild (Doreen);

Magdeline Finwall, Donald Finwall, grandchildren (Donald);

Daniel Finwall, Patrick Finwall, grandchildren, Tristan Finwall, Daniel Finwall, Rosie Finwall, Sophia Frakes Finwall, great grandchildren (Dan);

Colin Finwall, Emelie Finwall, grandchildren (Doug);

Elizabeth Gregorich, Jennifer Gregorich, Brittany Purvis, grandchildren, Mason Gregorich, Abby Jackson, Cherish Johnson, Darius Johnson, and Camryn Johnson (Dianne);

Justin McLaughlin, Brian McLaughlin, grandchildren (Darcey)



She was “Aunt Dor '' to many treasured nieces and nephews.



Born in Chicago with a novel beginning, she was born in the Packard before arriving at the hospital. Sweet home Chicago was always in Dorothy’s heart where she lived many chapters and created cherished homes. After the early start in Chicago, the majority of raising children chapters and memories happened in Pleasant Ridge, MI. While living in Michigan, Dorothy was a fierce advocate and supporter of the Ferndale Public Schools and Library. After raising her children, she completed her higher education at Oakland Community College, Wayne State University, and graduated from Loyola University with a degree in Education. Dorothy’s intellectual curiosity was abundant, and she never stopped learning. Teaching by example, Dorothy offered generous assistance to all on the quest for knowledge. Dorothy and Don returned to Chicago and after Don’s passing in 1983, where she became a full time English High School Teacher in the Chicago Public School System and provided almost twenty years of impact to her lucky students at John F. Kennedy High School. Dorothy gave “extra’ to all including the yearbook and drama theatre clubs, overseas trips with students, as well as daily lessons. She also shared her talents with International students from tutoring and class instruction of ESL. She loved sharing the gift of words with everyone. She was known to all who knew her well as the “Scrabble Queen” and was also the fiercest “Words with Friends” competitor. Dorothy was interested in literature, art and cultures, theatre, film, gardening and sewing. She was an excellent seamstress and created costumes for kids’ holidays and theatre productions, dresses for special occasions, and home decor. Dorothy taught many sewing and tailoring lessons. She set her standards high and always exceeded them. Once she retired from teaching in Chicago, she returned to Pleasant Ridge for many delightful chapters before fully retiring one more time to Saint Joseph, MI to enjoy the sunset of her days near Lake Michigan.



With conviction, Dorothy Jean championed the rights of all people. With compassion Dorothy fought for equality and acceptance. The evolution of changes to society fascinated Dorothy, often wondering how long they take. She shared meaningful humanitarian topics, information and discussions on those topics with so many. Never one to turn down an engaging conversation and a ”good gab”, her wit and wisdom were cherished by all. Dorothy traveled to Ireland, her “Motherland”, with a twinkle in her eye and joy in her heart. An expert in Irish Literature, Dorothy was taken with all things prose and poetry from every corner of the world.



An amazing home chef, Dorothy’s love for recipes, cookbooks, and adventurous fine meals are legendary. She had a strong appetite for opportunities to share fine dining, loved family meals, and crispy pastries. “Who Has More Fun than People?” is what Mom often exclaimed. Friendship was so important to Dorothy and her “tribe” of loyal faithful friends - she expressed love, respect, and concern for each and every one.



Dorothy was preceded in death by parents and siblings mentioned above, husband Donald Andrew Finwall, and grandson Colin Andrew Finwall. Survivors include children, Doreen (Doug) Johan, Donald (Denise) Finwall, Daniel Finwall, Douglas Finwall, Dianne Finwall, Darcey (Paul) Mc Laughlin, Denise (Sam) Luna.



With all our collective love, we say to our beloved Mama:

“Your Life was a Blessing, your Memory a Treasure, you are Loved beyond Words, and Missed beyond Measure”. Rest in Eternal Peace



Dorothy supported numerous charities and organizations, and if so inclined, memorials in Dorothy’s name may be directed to the Ferndale Public Library (Michigan) where Mom volunteered, her favorite charity Doctors without Borders, or your local PBS station.



We honor the impactful legacy of Dorothy Jean Wallace Finwall. Rest in Eternal Peace. 




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