Dorothy's Story

MANCHESTER, N.H. - Dorothy L. "Dot" (Butler) Day, 97, died peacefully March 4, 2015, at Hackett Hill Health Center, Manchester, NH. Formerly a longtime resident of Brooklin and Sedgwick, she moved to NH in 2009 to be closer to family. Born in Boston, MA, on September, 27, 1917, to Joseph and Alice (Williams) Butler, Dot was educated in the Boston public schools and then went to work at Massachusetts General Hospital, helping to support her family during the Great Depression. Dot once said that her only claim to fame was waiting on Boston's Mayor Curley in the Doctors' Dining Room at Mass General when he left her a 50 cent tip.

It was at Mass General where Dot met another employee, Arno Day, who would become her future husband and the love of her life. They were wed on December 31, 1939, in Boston, and enjoyed 59 years of marriage until Arno's passing in November 1998. Dot had always expressed a desire to live in the country and shortly after marrying, the couple moved to Arno's native Maine. Arno became a well-known builder of wooden boats and mentored many a young "would be" boat builder. While he was filling their heads with dreams of building a boat, Dot was filling their stomachs with lobster stew and her famous chocolate chip cookies. Some of those young people they came to consider their "adopted" children.

Dot held a few part-time jobs through the years. One of the most interesting and rewarding was serving as a companion to Brooklin author E.B.White during the final year of his life. She had a quick wit and an ever-ready comeback which Mr. White seemed to appreciate. One of her duties was reading to E.B. from his own writings.

Additionally, she enjoyed performing in community theater, having been blessed with a beautiful singing voice and a flair for acting. She was also very active with the Rebekahs, serving in several offices including Noble Grand for Center Harbor Lodge #104 and as District Deputy President for District #23. She was honored to be awarded the Decoration of Chivalry by the Grand Soveriegn Lodge of Maine.

Dot was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Her family was her life. Members of Dot's family who survive her are her three children and their spouses, Lois and John Washburn of Manchester, NH, Stephen and Deborah Day of Santa Fe, NM, and James and Bertha Day of St. Andrews, NB; and her son-in-law, J. Thomas Colcord of Fernandina Beach, FL, and Little Deer Isle. She is also survived by ten grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, Andrew Washburn of Alexandria, VA, Leslie and Hugh Stafford and their children, Gabby and Will, of Chelmsford, MA, Thomas and Dara Washburn and their children, Cassie and Chelsea, of Ashland MA, Hillary Colcord, Portland, ME, Kelsey Colcord and her fiance, Adam Spitalny, of Dorchester, MA, Elizabeth and Tim Nangle, and their daughter, Sydney, of Windham, ME, Michael Day and his son, Caleb, of Grovetown, GA, Susan and Barry Blakely, and their children, Hannah and A.J., of Laguna Hills, CA, and Eric and Marc Shaw, also of CA. In addition, she is survived by her sister-in-law, Ella Butler of Rockland, MA, and her three daughters, Donna, Alison and Susan. She also leaves two nephews, Havilah and Ron Hawkins of Maine. In addition to her husband, Dot was predeceased by her beloved daughter, Mary Colcord, in 2010; and by her siblings: sister, Margaret Johnson of Sedgwick; and four brothers, Joseph, John, Francis and Robert, all of the Boston area.

A memorial service will be held in Maine in the warmer weather when the family can gather. For those who wish, a memorial donation may be made to the Day Family Fund, at the Maine Community Foundation, 245 Main St., Ellsworth, ME 04605. Arrangements by Jordan-Fernald Funeral Home, Ellsworth, with assistance from Goodwin Funeral Home, Manchester, NH. Condolences may be expressed at
Published in Bangor Daily News
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