Dorothy May Parker, 85, a familiar voice when citizens called the city manager’s office

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dorothy parkerDottie Parker was a lifelong resident of Williamsburg. She devoted her life to the city she loved and the people who also called that city home.

The eldest daughter of Lola Wheeler Larson and Clarence Larson, Dottie was only a teenager when she went to work for the telephone company as an operator.

A 1948 graduate of Matthew Whaley School, Dottie had, at the age of 18, already begun to demonstrate her ability to develop friendships of substance and to make the most of the opportunities she was given.

She married Marion N. Parker (Billy) on April 8,1950. While Billy was working his way up the ranks of the Merchant Marine, Dottie began to forge a career of her own by working for the City of Williamsburg.

At a time when computers were but a dream of automation, Dottie was in the public utilities department, overseeing the water bills for local residents and learning the inner workings of the city. Within a short time, she was the familiar voice who ran the switchboard of the Municipal Building. She became such an integral part of the local government operations, that she eventually became the assistant to the city manager, in whose office she worked until her retirement 35 years later.

During her years with the city manager, Dottie developed a reputation for always delivering her best work and even after retirement, she was pursued by a number of prospective employers. She accepted the offer to work in the Commissioner of Revenue’s office.

The private Dorothy Parker spent most of her weekends and holidays enjoying the riverfront vacation home she and Billy had built on the coastline of the York River in Gloucester. Dottie shared her special retreat with a host of family and friends, always happy to entertain those who were loved and valued by her.

Dottie also became a member of the Williamsburg Reunion committee and championed the drive to restore the auditorium seats of her alma mater. She used her talents for the good of the community by volunteering to work in the office of Williamsburg Presbyterian Church.

She was devoted to the bicentennial celebrations of the United States, and to the 300th anniversary of Williamsburg. She worked tirelessly on countless class reunion committees and always handled her obligations with an unwavering determination that if it was worth doing, it was indeed worth doing well.

Dottie is survived by her sister, Ruth Larson Hodge, and her brother-in-law, Gregory Hodge of Williamsburg; her niece and nephew, Pamela Hodge Hedgepeth and Robert Hodge; and also her two grandnieces, Mary Katherine Aadahl and Courtney Hedgepeth Wells.

In addition to those members of her immediate family, Dottie is also survived by several nieces and nephews who are related through her marriage to Billy, and myriad cousins with whom she shared a deep love of family and a will to keep the members of her family closely connected to each other and to their heritage.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, February 9, 2016. The service will take place at Jamestown Presbyterian Church and burial will follow at Cedar Grove Cemetery. The family will receive visitors at Nelsen Funeral Home from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday.

It is requested that expressions of sympathy be expressed through memorial donations to the Williamsburg Rescue Squad or to the Music ministry of Jamestown Presbyterian Church.