Dorothea v. S. Lawson, 97, passed away of natural causes on February 13, 2014 in Medford, Ore.
A native of Germany, she was born in Gleiwitz, Upper Silesia during World War I and her youth was spent in Muenster, Westphalia. Her family moved to Berlin in 1935 where she married and lived through Hitler's rise to power, the turbulence of World War II, as well as the Soviet invasion and American occupation of Berlin. She endured many hardships during those years including dangerous food-hunting trips to farmers out in the country so her family wouldn't starve.
When the Berlin Wall went up, she emigrated to the U.S. with her two children, remarried, and lived in the Washington, D.C. area for many years. There she earned her master's degree from Georgetown University and taught German at the university level to military personnel and senior citizens. In 2003 she moved to Medford to be closer to family.
A great achievement in the latter part of her life was becoming a published author with her memoir Laughter Wasn't Rationed: A Personal Journey Through Germany's World Wars and Postwar Years. She wrote the book in English, not her native tongue German, so that the American public could learn about real life experiences, not only what was written in the media or history books.
On the East Coast, Dorothea was an avid round, square, and ballroom dancer. She will be remembered for her never-ending positive attitude, her kindness and genuine concern for others, her great sense of humor, and, of course, her legacy her memoir.
She leaves a great void in her family and is survived by her daughters Rose Curci and Sylvia Cole, and grandson Mark Curci.