Dorothy Koster Ives

Date of Death

August 31, 2016

Dorothy Koster Ives, passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends, on August 31, 2016 after 90 glorious years experiencing and blessing this world with her energy and light.

She grew up in Queens, New York, during the Depression, where she attended Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School with her two older sisters, Anna Marie and Anita, and younger brother John. She was very close in age to John (Jack as he goes by) and they would walk together and bring food to the unemployed men at church after school. She was a loving soul, taking care of others from the moment she left the womb.

Dorothy’s first job was as a telephone operator during World War II because she could handle complex messages and could read at a phenomenal speed. She treasured being able to connect the men at war with their loved ones. She had an insatiable thirst for knowledge and love for books that continued her entire life.

It was in her 40’s, working as an interior designer that she met the love of her life, Burl Ives. She was commissioned to decorate a small apartment he was to live in while working on a movie in California. They married in London in 1971.

Together they traveled and toured the world, lived among the quiet hills of Montecito, California for many years, and eventually settled in the quaint community of Anacortes, Washington, with the eagles, the mountains, and the peaceful Puget Sound.

Dorothy surrounded her life with beauty and color in all its vibrant hues, and decorated the lives of all those around her as well. She opened her heart and mind to all religions and welcomed all schools of thought for the greater good of mankind. She was a light-worker, a catalyst for peace, and philanthropist to so many charities, foundations, and benefits for the young to the old to the sick to the needy.

Dorothy is survived by: her brother John, her son Robert, her step-son Alex, grandchildren: Samantha, Maggie, Katy, Joel, Andrew, Andi and 7 adorable great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her husband, Burl, and two children, Barbara and Kevin.

The family wishes to thank Hospice, and so much of the community of Anacortes for their love and support. A celebration of her life will be set for later in the month. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made out to Hospice of the Northwest who took phenomenal care of her in her last months.

Arrangements are in the care of Evans Chapel & Crematory Inc., of Anacortes, WA & the San Juan Islands. To share a memory of Dorothy please visit and sign the online guest register.


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