Sunday, December 4, 2022

Dorothy Lee Harris Zehmer, of Newport News

Dorothy Lee Harris Zehmer (Weymouth Funeral Home)

Service Will Be At A Later Date

Dorothy Lee Harris Zehmer, better known as Dottie Lee, died September 23, 2022.

She was born in Mercy Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.  She attended Montebello Elementary School, Roland Park Jr. High School and Eastern High School – graduating in June 1954.  She went to Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, VA,  where she graduated June 1958 with an AB in Chemistry.  She was a member of the Beta Beta Chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity. She returned to Baltimore where she taught at Baltimore Junior College for a year until her marriage to Pete on June 20, 1959.  The following winter she took a job as an explosives chemist with the R&D Division at the Naval Weapons Station where she worked there for two years until the birth of her first child.   When her last child started elementary school she began taking math and computer courses at Christopher Newport College and subsequently earned a second baccalaureate degree in Math and Computer Science in 1978.  She started teaching math at all levels and all grades at Hampton Roads Academy.  Upon her retirement in 1993, the Math Department established The Zehmer Mathematics Award in her honor.

Dottie Lee had always been an accomplished seamstress, but it was not until later in life that she became interested in quilting She made full size quilts for all her children and grandchildren as well as for herself and Pete.  She took many courses on different techniques and made many decorative quilts.

During her years in Newport News Dottie Lee was a member of the Denbigh Woman’s Club; Peninsula Panhellenic Council, serving as president in 1970; Free State of Warwick and Newport News/Warwick Chapters of Daughters of the American Revolution, serving as treasurer and chaplain at various times; Chairman of the Hilton Presbyterian Church Preschool; Election official at the Hilton Precinct; Volunteer for The American Cancer Society and volunteer at the Newport News Library bookstore.

She was preceded in death by her parents, James Meador and Ethel Kinsley Harris.  She is survived by her beloved husband of 63 years, John  A. (Pete) Zehmer; their children – James Baskerville Zehmer and his children,  James and Frances; Adrian Lee Zehmer, his wife Brooke and their children, Madison, Kinsley and Mollie; and John Kinsley Zehmer and his partner Kathy Manning.

It is suggested that any contributions to be made in her honor go to Randolph College in Lynchburg through the Alunae Office or to The Virginia Baptist Homes Foundation

There will be a family gathering at a future date. Arrangements by Weymouth Funeral Home.

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