Dorothy “Dottie” P. Smart, 88, of Elkhart, died Monday, May 15, 2023, at Elkhart General Hospital. She was born on March 4, 1935 in Memphis, Tennessee to the late James and Emily C. (Morris) Gilmore. She married Lewis Smart Jr. on June 16, 1955. He preceded her in death on April 1, 2003.
Dottie is preceded in death by her parents, husband and seven siblings: Stella L. Gilmore, Earline J. Honorable, Ethel M. Abernathy, Rosie L. Gilmore, Robert J. Gilmore, Willie Ray Gilmore and James Gilmore Jr.
She is survived by her children: Veronica Williams, Marilyn J. Whittington, Sandra Bragdon and Timothy Smart. Dottie is also survived by several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. As well as two brothers-in-law: Herman Smart and Lymon Smart Sr. Three sisters-in-law: Mary Smart, Wilma Smart and Doris Miles and host of nieces and nephews.
Dottie graduated from Elkhart High School and was a long-time member of Canaan Baptist Church where she was also a Sunday School teacher. Dottie worked for the National Corporate Office of Church World Services as an accountant from 1966 to 1972. She then went on to work for the City of Elkhart as the purchasing manager from 1972 to 2006 when she retired.
Dottie was very involved in her community and country. In 1968 she was Senator Birch Bayh’s Liaison Chairman in the Electoral College Reform. She also worked in the Deputy Registration Office from 1968 to 1972 and taught political governmental courses. Dottie was also Precinct Committeeman Captain, former Treasurer of the Elkhart Democratic Central Committee, member of the Democratic Club and the Elkhart County Parade Committee. In 1969, Dottie was one of the original creators of the Elkhart Day Care Center/Elkhart Child Development Center and served on the Board of Directors. While on the board she helped to create policies, intake rules and regulations. She was also a lifetime financial supporter. She was also a member of the Elkhart League of Women Voters and served on the Board of Directors from 1969 to 1978. In 1987 she was voted Who Is Who in American Women and in 1988 voted One Hundred Most Influential Women in Indiana.
A visitation for Dottie will be held on Monday, May 22, 2023 from 11 AM to 12 PM at Community Missionary Baptist Church in Elkhart followed by a service at 12 PM. A graveside service will then take place after at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens in Osceola.
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