Dottie Gooch


Dottie was born on April 18, 1930 to parents William and Kenny Mace.  Growing up in the shadow of the Great Depression did not provide the foundation for an easy childhood but it instilled in her the savvy resourcefulness, adaptability, and unrelenting optimism that would become the hallmark of her personality. 


At 18, Dottie’s life changed for the better when she was introduced to James Stanley Gooch.  After only 2 weeks of dating, they were engaged and married on May 14, 1949.   Together they would have 3 children – Deborah, Louise, and Jim, a successful dry cleaning business, and 56 happy years together.  Jim and Dottie were an amazing husband-wife team, and mom missed dad every day for the rest of her life!


A gifted singer from a young age, Dottie debuted her musical talent at the tender age of 3 and remained a staple in church choirs into her 80s.  Throughout her 91 years, Dottie remained a prolific painter.  A master in the difficult art of watercolor painting, Dottie created hundreds of pieces throughout her lifetime. From whimsical lighthouses to vibrant botanicals, Dottie’s appreciation for the small pleasures in life shine through her work.


Working from the age of 13, Dottie possessed an uncommon combination of industriousness, creativity, and zest for learning that today’s entrepreneurs would envy.  A fixture in the church community, Dottie served as a deacon and elder in the 1970’s.  Even in her later years, Dottie never knew a lazy day.  Whether socializing with her church community, having coffee with family, or lovingly hand painting a card for a friend, “bored” was not part of Dottie’s vocabulary. 


Although, she always called the Seattle area home, Dottie was well traveled.  She enjoyed countless trips with her family to Hawaii, Lake Chelan, Vancouver BC, San Diego and more.  Her presence was the secret ingredient that made vacations, birthdays, and holidays extra special.  Her astounding ability to connect with people of all ages and backgrounds earned her friends everywhere she went.  Whether moving to a new community or attending a new church, Dottie had an uncanny way of turning strangers into treasured friends seemingly overnight.


Dottie remained staunchly independent and mentally acute until her passing on June 29, 2021.  To quote Dottie herself, “when I die you’re allowed to be really sad for 45 minutes.”  Although she is no longer with us physically, Dottie’s sincerity of spirit and unrelenting enthusiasm for life is carried in the hearts of all who had the pleasure of having her in their lives. 


Dottie is survived by her daughters, Deborah (Rich) Hunt, Louise (Jim) Watson, and son, Jim (Laura) Gooch, as well as granddaughters, Heaven Crecco (great grandchildren Anthony and Moira), Christine Watson, and two grandsons, Josh and Garret Gooch.

  • Barbara Wilson Hubert (Posted: September 14, 2023)
    I knew Dottie from my years at Lake City Presbyterian Church. The church just recently disbanded, causing me to think about my times there. Dottie came to mind, although I would have called her Mrs. Gooch back then. She led one of the children's choirs and sometimes would drive me to practice. I went to Olympic Hills Elementary, and it was easy to just walk to the Gooch house and catch a ride with her. I remember the many solos she sang at church. My folks would have hymn sings at our house with my dad, Warren Wilson, and Naomi Gilbert playing the piano and organ. Your mom would be there too at some of them. I'm sure her singing enriched. I don't know that any of you children will ever see this, but I thought I'd share it .... just in case.
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