Dorothy Jane Metro Marking
Our Mom Dorothy, affectionately known as “Dot,” was a true Renaissance woman – beloved mother, talented lifelong musician, teacher, amateur botanist, volunteer docent at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and Lotusland, and enthusiastic birder. She instilled in her children and others a sense of intellectual curiosity, precision in thought and writing, the value of education, and an appreciation for music, history and the natural world.
Her parents, Stephen and Anna (Flynn) Metro left Buffalo NY and moved to Los Angeles where she was born in 1919. Dorothy had two younger sisters, Ruth Horgan (d. 2016) and Katherine “Chick” McBride (d. 2000). She began studying piano at a young age, graduated from Los Angeles High school in 1937 and from UCLA in 1941. She married Lowell Paul Marking (d. 1970), a metallurgical engineer and Air Force officer, in 1944 and they had five children: Elizabeth Westen of Montecito; Paul Marking of Santa Rosa; Kate Marking of Gulfport FL; Steve Marking (d. 2005), and Tom Marking of Santa Fe NM.
Dot took an early interest in the piano, a passion that she joyously shared with others and that nourished and sustained her through many difficult times. We kids have many fond memories of Mom playing her Knabe baby grand in the living room, and inviting other musicians to play together. She participated in many musical ensembles and accompanied many fine musicians in and around Santa Barbara, in addition to being an accomplished pianist in her own right. Dot was church organist, pianist, and accompanist at several parishes in the San Fernando Valley, and accompanied ballet students for many years at Sheila Rozann’s Dance Studio. She played in the orchestra in a SB City College production of “Show Boat” in 1989.
She moved around the country following her husband’s Air Force assignments, until the family returned to California in 1958, while raising five children. After obtaining her teaching certificate in 1965, she began teaching elementary school and raised her children alone after her husband’s death in 1970. Dot taught fifth and sixth grade in Thousand Oaks until her retirement in 1981. She moved to Santa Barbara in 1983.
Dot and Norm Stevens met through a local musical group, and they became close friends, fell in love and were devoted partners for 18 years. They often played clarinet and piano together, and lived for many years in peace and contentment, the last several years at Vista del Monte. Norm passed away in 2015.
Dorothy used a variety of colorful expressions, some from her parents, including “Neat, but not gaudy”, “What can you do with weak coffee?”, “A little alcohol in the radiator”, “This meal is elegant!”, “My stars and garters!”, “Nice weather for ducks”, “Fish and visitors smell in three days”,“Egads!!!”, and “What a gas!”.
A memorial service will be held at Vista del Monte, 3775 Modoc Road, Santa Barbara at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 30. Friends are invited to join family for a celebration and remembrance of Dorothy’s life.