Cape Elizabeth — Dorothy Leavis, age 93, died gently at her home on Sunday evening October 27, 2013, surrounded by her family.
Dot was born on November 13, 1919, in Lynn, Mass., the daughter of Amy Blanche Vaillancourt and Walter Buckley. Dot was the oldest child, having two younger brothers that she dearly loved.
Dot met her husband, Cliff Leavis, while working as a secretary in a large office. He told her he was going to marry her on their first date. They were married on New Year's Day in 1942 when Cliff was on leave from the RAF. Dot's last job of her working career was managing the office of the Maine State Board of Architecture in Portland, Maine.
The mother of five children, Dot's love of family was the driving force in her life, second only to her deep faith. She taught by example and supported all of her children through their challenges and their joys. Her gentle nature and open heart endeared her to all who knew her. She was always a calm presence in the midst of activity. "We will miss simply being able to go to her, being loved by her, every little thing about her."
Dot had a deep respect for humanity and modeled that by taking foster children and people from other cultures, into her home. She once sponsored a refugee family in her home for two weeks when they first arrived in the USA. She hosted a music student from Mexico for a semester, and others.
A deeply spiritual person, Dot found a place to express her spirituality in the Catholic faith. She encouraged her children to find their own spirituality while accepting their differences. She was open to change and willing to grow. She always relied on her God to help her find her way.
Dorothy was predeceased by her loving husband, Clifton Leavis, in 1995. Those who loved Dot and are left behind are her brother, Gerald Buckley and wife, Alice Buckley; sister-in-law, Cicely Buckley; sister-in-law, Nancy Bailey and husband, Jim Bailey; son Paul Leavis and wife, Judy Leavis; daughter, Linda Leavis Colson; daughter, Nancy Goss; daughter, Kathy Leavis and husband, Don Harden; daughter, Laurie Bauman; and son-in-law, Bob Bauman; 13 grandchildren; and four great-grand children.
Thank you to our caring team from Hospice of Southern Maine for the excellent care and support to Mom and our family. Our hospice volunteers, Peggy Williams and Elinor Redmond, were spectacular and completely present to our many needs. A special thanks to Kim Wessell, Janice Lambert, Maxine Whitehead, and Ladonna Burley, for their loving caring for Mom. We are very grateful to Dr. Robert Fraser of Inter-Med for his honesty and compassion in dealing with life, and with death.
ARRANGEMENTS: In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to Hospice of Southern Maine, 180 US Route One, Scarborough, ME 04074 or to Maryknoll Mission, P.O. Box 302, Maryknoll, NY 10545.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Memorial Mass that will be celebrated at St. Bartholomew’s Catholic Church in Cape Elizabeth on Saturday, November 2, 2013, at 11 a.m. Interment will be private.