Dorothy Mae Gazaille West, affectionately known as Dottie or Dot, died peacefully on Nov. 7 surrounded by her family.
Dot was born on Jan. 2, 1924 to Joseph Gazaille and Mary Pinsonnault Gazaille. She was the second youngest of seven children. Dot was born and raised on the Great Plains in Edgartown, where she remained throughout her life. She was born in what is now the Square Rigger Restaurant, previously located off the shores of Edgartown Great Pond.
Dot was married to Robert E. West on Sept. 8, 1945. Together they lived in a farmhouse that Dot independently purchased while her husband-to-be was overseas. This same farmhouse is where Dot lived into her final days.
Her life was exemplified by hard work, strength and determination. Dot will be best remembered for her infectious laugh, quick wit and charismatic personality. Once encountered, she was impossible to forget. She was filled with spunk and had a playful, mischievous side best seen in the gleam of her eye and the words she spoke: “I will never tell,” followed by a laugh only Dot could laugh.
Dot was an energetic and loving soul who could never be found sitting still too long. She was always on the go and could be found visiting with her family close by or exploring the Island by car or foot. In fact, until just recently Dot could frequently be found walking Great Plains. Her vast knowledge and love for the Island was passed on to those she encountered.
Dot loved to share the Island history, which made her one of the best tour guides for Stage Coach Taxi. Dot was also well known at the recycle center in West Tisbury, informally nicknamed by some as “Dottie’s Boutique,” where she volunteered countless hours.
Dorothy is predeceased by her husband, Robert E. West; and son, Vernon West; her brothers, Herman, Arthur and Larry; and sisters, Gertrude, Leona and Corinne. She is survived by her four children, Wayne West, Nanette Lynch, Ronald West and Cindy Sequeira; her 10 grandchildren, Peter, Trinette and Craig Conover; Melaney, Vanessa, Kristina and Warren West; Tia, Tonya and Weston Sequeira; and 11 great-grandchildren.
We are forever changed for loving her — you will always remain in our hearts and your footsteps on Great Plains.
A butterfly lights beside us
like a sunbeam;
for a brief moment,
its glory and beauty belong to our world.
But then it flies on again,
and though we wish it could have stayed,
we feel so lucky to have
seen it at all.
A visitation for family and friends will be held on Saturday, Nov. 16 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. in the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home in Oak Bluffs. Her funeral mass will follow in St. Elizabeth’s Church on Main street, Edgartown. Interment will be private in the family lot of the new Westside Cemetery. A gathering to follow her funeral mass will be held at the Legion Hall in Edgartown.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the Katama Airfield Trust, P.O. Box 2908, Edgartown, MA 02539 or Edgartown Council on Aging, P.O. Box 1295, Edgartown, MA 02539.