Dorothea Josephine Hautaniemi
Dorothea Josephine Hautaniemi, 93, of Lansing, New York passed away at home surrounded by family members on Thursday, May 12, 2016. Dorothea was born in Boston, MA on December 13, 1922, daughter of the late Joseph and Irene (O’Brien) Quinn. She is predeceased by her parents and her husband B. Wendell; siblings Mary Josephine, Thomas, Nancy, Joseph, Irene, Jack; in-laws Katherine, Henry, Norma, Walter, Katherine; and her grandson Peter.
Dorothea is survived by her sister Celia Tolan, her children Wendell (Shirley), Wendla (Paul) Windt, Jeanne Rossi, Richard, Claudia Gail Hunter, Brian (Cindy), Susan (James) Leonard, Ann Marie; her grandchildren Emily, Kristina, Matthew, Robert, Michelle, Danielle, Conor, Max, Rhiannon, Maureen, Dennis, Jill, Amanda, Tyler; her great-grandchildren James, Spencer, Tara, Morgan, Amelia, Miles, Teija, and Calvin; and numerous nieces and nephews and their families.
Dorothea, the oldest of her parents’ seven surviving children, was born before the onset of the Great Depression. She remembered the good days of velvet dresses, and the hard days after of deep food insecurity. Despite the hardship she graduated from high school in Brighton, MA in a time when many people did not have that opportunity. Those days gave her a deep compassion for the hardship of others. Her house was always open for those in need, especially the teenage friends of her children.
Dorothea and Wendell, both of Boston, met in October of 1941 while doing war work. They were engaged in December and married in March of 1942. They started their family while Wendell was attending Tufts University and then moved to Wellesley MA. The family moved to the Ithaca area in 1957. After her youngest started school Dorothea worked for many years at the Tompkins County Public Library as the memorial books curator and later as the accountant after completing her degree at TC3 in her 50s. She was a proud member and the treasurer of the CSEA. She enjoyed sharing her many talents, her love of reading, and how to understand and appreciate the natural wonders of the world with not just her own but with many of the local children. While their children were in school she and Wendell were very involved in the Lansing PTA. She and her husband loved to travel and took their children on many adventurous trips. In the early 1980’s, Dorothea and Wendell started their company Scanco Inc. They ran the company together for many years. They traveled extensively during this time, including sailing in the Bahamas. When Wendell died they had been married for sixty years.
Dorothea loved to interact with people of all ages. She was known for her charm and her quick wit. Her generosity of spirit helped many people. She was a good friend and was known for her sage advice. She listened to the truth of what people shared with her. Amongst her best loved advice was “Keep Breathing” and “Take care of the kids, they will grow up to drive you around.” She was a wonderful mother, aunt, and grandmother to multiple generations. She was a founding member of Saint Catherine’s of Siena Church. In her later years she was a well-loved member of the All Saints Roman Catholic Church in Lansing where she loved singing in the choir and at many cooperative church events including the Lenten Cantatas at Immaculate Conception Church. Dorothea also loved the ecumenical Women’s Bible Study group at the Lansing United Methodist Church and the luncheons at Linda’s Diner that followed.
She often said “God has a plan, just go with it”. She did, and she will be missed.
There will be a celebratory Mass at All Saints Church, Lansing NY on Tuesday May 24, 2016 at 11AM with a luncheon to follow in the parish center. All are welcome to help celebrate her life and her love of the Lansing community.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to: Lansing Food Pantry, P.O. Box 21 Lansing, NY 14882; All Saints Church, 347 Ridge Road, Lansing NY 14882; Lansing Community Library, 27 Auburn Road, Lansing NY 14882.