In memory of Dorothy Watts

By Ardis Dick Stenbakken

Dorothy Watts was my friend. I first met Dorothy when her husband Ron was president of the Alaska Conference and we were stationed there. She reached out to us immediately, and I liked her at once. I remember the first time I heard her speak-she gave an early talk about Global Missions (how many Sabbath School presentations to you remember from 18 years ago?). Her presentation was excellent. I invited her to speak to the Protestant Women of the Chapel (the US Army equivalent of Women's Ministries), and the women loved her! When they planned a retreat her name was the only one suggested, and she did not disappoint. Dorothy once told me that she was uncomfortable with chit-chat. But when she could plan what to say or to write, she was a pro!

Dorothy was GCWM director for one year, 1996-1997. She was an excellent mentor and a woman of vision. She saw the big picture, and set about developing resources. It is because of Dorothy that we have the leadership certification program-and what a blessing it has been to thousands of women (and men)! She confided that leaving Women's Ministries was one of the hardest things she ever had to do even though she loved the people of India; I visited her there and she was making a real difference there too. Although she was not a Women's Ministries leader there, she certainly supported it in significant ways.

Dorothy loved gardening and flowers; she was a passionate walker and "birder." She wrote at least 26 books, was a missionary, taught elementary school, founded an orphanage, raised and loved three adopted children from India, gloried in her grandchildren, and left a thousand score of friends. We all look forward to seeing her again.