Grants Pass resident, and member of 1939 graduating class of Pendleton High School, Mae Dorothy Schilling Grosh peacefully passed away in the presence of family on Sunday, April 9, 2017. She died at age 97 from natural causes.
Born in Colfax, Saskatchewan, Canada, in 1920, Dorothy joined her parents, Jacob and Carrie Schilling, and four brothers and sisters. By the time she was three years old, the family had moved near Pendleton, Oregon, where they purchased an Albee, Oregon, cattle ranch. Her early childhood was happy, complete with horses, Camas meadows, and schoolmates at the popular Albee schoolhouse. The Great Depression of the 1930s, however, brought severe change, and the ranch struggled with the rest of the country.
The family decided Dorothy should relocate to Pendleton to attend high school. In exchange for room and board she accepted the position of nanny. This proved to be one of the happiest times in her life. The patriarch of her host family was the administrator for Pendleton public schools, and Dorothy discovered the ambitious world of professional educators.
Following her 1939 graduation from Pendleton High School, Dorothy married California forestry student Edward Grosh. She followed her husband to numerous U.S. Forest Service districts in the Pacific Northwest, and she gave birth to her two children during these early years of marriage. Dorothy arrived in the Rogue Valley in 1945 when her husband was assigned to Rand Ranger Station just a mile downriver from Galice Resort. A career in public education beckoned, and while her husband accepted a forester’s position at Bates Lumber Co., Dorothy enrolled at Southern Oregon State College; She earned her teaching certificate from Western Oregon College of Education in Monmouth, Oregon, in 1951. Another milestone in her life, she was awarded her U.S. citizenship the same year.
Dorothy started her teaching career as a fourth grade teacher at the Grants Pass Riverside School. Her 20-year teaching career was exclusive to School District 7, and that includes 10 years spent at South Junior High School where she was teacher, counselor, and library science instructor. Following her husband’s passing in 1971, Dorothy retired from teaching to become a realtor for Justin George Realty in Grants Pass. She accumulated numerous real properties over the years, and finally accepted full retirement to devote greater attention to her properties.
Dorothy was a very happy and generous person. As a teacher, Mrs. Grosh’s message to every student was, “Believe education is the greatest gift of your lifetime – embrace it now.” She loved her students and her fellow teachers. Dorothy was a devoted a member of the Grants Pass chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, and she was a former president of the Grants Pass Retired Teachers Association.
Dorothy Grosh survived all of her siblings. She leaves behind her daughter and son-in-law, Christine and Randy Serafini of Grants Pass; her son and daughter-in-law, Gary and Peggie Grosh of Salem, Ore.; and her beloved grandchildren – Allison (Cory) Gunterman in Forest Grove, and Jon (Valle) Grosh in Washington, D.C.