Dorothy “Dottie” May Stark

Dottie Stark

Died May 22, 2023, in Lansing, Michigan. She was born in Rocky River, Ohio, on March 28, 1930, to Wallis Mark Fisher and Grace Deeks Fisher. Dorothy graduated from Bowling Green State University, Ohio, with a BS in Education, where she was a member of Kappa Phi Methodist Women’s Club and Delta Zeta sorority.  She taught grade school for four years in Rocky River, Ohio, and as a substitute teacher in Ann Arbor and Lansing, Michigan. Dorothy was office manager for psychologists Berkman and Berkman, and later worked for Manpower.  She served the Girl Scouts as a leader for seven years, as an Area 3 Chairman, and as a board member for nine years, culminating in her receiving the Girl Scout Thanks Badge. At the end of her service, she donated her Girl Scout pins to the Michigan History Center. Dorothy volunteered at every church she attended; Rocky River, OH, Asheboro, NC, Ann Arbor and Lansing, MI. She was very active in Lansing’s Central United Methodist Church (CUMC) and served as the United Methodist Women’s Lansing District Treasurer. For 28 years she was a devoted seamstress in the CUMC sewing group making clothing for needy children, partnering initially with a group of 12. For the last three years she helped the homeless as the lone seamstress. Gardening and discovering genealogy connections were lifelong activities, but puzzles and card games were her steady passion. She loved to play all sorts of card games, especially bridge, pinochle, and euchre, sharing joyful moments with family and friends. She taught many of us new games. After her husband Jim passed, Dottie encouraged friends to usher with her for the BoarsHead Theater. People have often mentioned how they appreciated her friendliness, organizational skills, and efforts to visit others in care facilities. For 13 years she was an enthusiastic Ambassador for Grand Haven Retirement Center. “Everybody knows Dottie” was a frequent expression from Grand Haven staff and residents.

Survivors are, daughters: Susan Brogan (Denny) and Patty Johnson (Dr. Mark); grandchildren: Jamie Brogan Vanderput (Andrew), Stacey Brogan Cooper (Joseph), Kristen Johnson Martin (Tim), Michael Johnson (Lan), Katharine Johnson and Mark Wallis Johnson; great-grandchildren: Danielle, Isaiah, Aubrey, and Caleb Vanderput; nieces and nephews: W. Mark Fisher, Barbara Johnson-Clay, Robert Johnson, Richard Johnson, Louise Johnson Crane, Alan Stark, Diana Stark Holt, Barbara Stark Vaughn.  Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband of 50 years, James W. Stark, Jr. Together they enjoyed square dancing and attended numerous Elderhostel/Road Scholar trips. She was also preceded in death by sister, Marjorie Johnson (Clyde), brother, William Fisher (Ann/Jerri), grandson, Matthew Johnson, brothers-in-law, John and wife Gerry Stark, and Captain Clyde (Marjorie) Johnson, and special friend, Roy Sims.

Memorial service will be at Central United Methodist Church on Saturday, June 24th at 2pm with visitation at 1 pm. Inurnment will be at Deepdale Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial gifts be made to Dottie’s church:  Central United Methodist Church, or mailed to 215 N. Capitol Ave., Lansing, MI 48933.

Family and friends may visit the guest book at

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5 Messages to “Dorothy “Dottie” May Stark

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Bridgette Adams
May 26, 2023 at 6:39 pm

I cleaned house Dottie and just adored her. Sorry for ur loss as i know she cherished her family. See you on the other side Mrs. Dottie

Rev. Linda Farmer-Lewis
May 30, 2023 at 11:21 am

Dottie was always simply a delight! Her warm smile, friendship and faith were a treasure. We have lost a great woman.

Elaine Brown
June 1, 2023 at 2:13 pm

We new Dottie as members of CUMC for many years. She was very outgoing and friendly, and always looked for ways to make a contribution wherever there was a need. Dottie lived a full life.

Elaine and Murray Brown

Deb Devlin-Angevine
June 1, 2023 at 3:50 pm

Dear Patty and Susan,
So sorry to read about your Mom. It’s so hard loosing a parent. I’m so glad I got to visit with her up north, not too long ago.
Deb-Devlin Angevine.

Michelle Rakieten
June 2, 2023 at 11:06 am

Dottie was one of the first excepting residents who helped me feel welcome at Grandhaven Manor and I miss her daily notes already. She will be dearly missed as she was a friend to all and was willing to accept and welcome anyone, no question asked!


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