Full Name: Dorothy Sheps Kearns
Date of Death: Friday, March 5, 2021
Dorothy S. Kearns, age 107, would have been 108 on March 13th, of Wyckoff, NJ, formerly of Paterson, NJ, passed away on Friday morning March 5, 2021. Beloved wife of the late Henry Kearns and the late William Sheps. Prior to her retirement Dorothy served as the secretary for the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders in Paterson. She is survived by several nieces and cousins. Memorial donations in memory of Dorothy S. Kearns may be made to the Wounded Warriors Project, support.woundedwarriorproject.org.
Services for family only
Upon first meeting Aunt Dorothy I was Struck by her strength, tenacity and humor. She often reminded me of Defoe’s Moll Flanders who threw caution to the wind and lived her best life possible. Aunt Dorothy came into the world as the US entered WWI, was a young girl before women had the right to vote, and came of age during the Great Depression. The devastating events of WWII and the myriad of changes to American society which occurred during her lifetime were challenges she accepted and relished. In her last year on earth the Covid Pandemic left her learning to FaceTime with her niece Jackie. This past month frustrated with her failing mind and body she had an epiphany, “I get it, I’m old!” Thank goodness she didn’t realize this until she was 107. My whole family will miss celebrating the Kentucky Derby with her, but she will live on in our memories.
I remember discussing the TV show Naked and Afraid with Aunt Dorothy. She was rather scandalized by the fact that unmarried couples were unclothed in front of each other. I’ll certainly miss her unique perspective on the things we see as normal.
It is “Women’s History Month” and Dorothy Kearns has a history! 108 years worth of history. Born March 13,1913 – 13 was her favorite number. We would go out and she would love to have people guess her age and she relished in the fact they no one ever guessed it. Most guesses off by 20+ years. Everyone asked her “What’s your secret?” she would never tell – but I think it’s time to share. She once told me… Eat what you want, drink what you want, do what you want!!” That is how she lived her life. She enjoyed having a drink. Last week she told me she wanted a Margarita and a beer. That night for dinner they brought her a beer. She had spunk and had no problem telling me exactly what she wanted and how it should be done.
She had a strength many today will never have to possess. She made it through the Spanish flu, the Great Depression, helped raise her 2 brothers and took care of her father after her mother passed, WWII and helped jews escape Germany with her first husband, shortly there after the loss of her first husband, married again and then the loss of that husband, vietnam, Berlin Wall, Generation X and more. I am so fortunate to be her Great Niece and have been able to share so many memories not only was she my Great Aunt – but she was a GREAT AUNT!!