Dorothy E. Gonsalves

June 04, 1927 - May 18, 2018

Dorothy E. Gonsalves

June 04, 1927 - May 18, 2018


Dorothy Gonsalves of Chuckanut Drive died Friday, May 18, 2018. She was 90 years old.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland to Gustave and Nellie (Fischer) Flandorffer on June 4, 1927, Mrs. Gonsalves graduated from Western High School and Goucher College there. She married Harris Gonsalves in Baltimore on August 23, 1948 and moved to Bellingham at that time. He preceded her in death in 1993.

She took graduate courses at Western Washington University, Central Washington University, the University of Puget Sound, the University of Granada in Spain, and the Central University of Ecuador in Quito. She taught Spanish at Bellingham High School from 1962 to 1966 and at Sehome High School from 1966 to 1979. She served as President of the Washington Association and Foreign Language Teachers in 1966-67 and co-authored the Spanish Today textbook series for Houghton Mifflin.

Mrs. Gonsalves was a member of the Mt. Baker Hiking Club, the Senior Trailblazers, the Whatcom County Retired Teachers’ Association, the Bellingham Senior Activity Center, the Chuckanut Community and Firefighters’ Association, and a 14-year volunteer with the Whatcom County Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

A friend once said of Dorothy that she never met a stranger because she was able to start a conversation with anyone she met, and that was an important part of her life. She enjoyed meeting new people and finding out their life stories. Inveterately curious, she wanted to know what made things work, why people were doing what they were doing, how they lived. In the most remote parts of the world, she managed to communicate with people and to share her life with them and vice versa. She traveled extensively throughout the world with her late husband, and after his death in 1993, with Elderhostel programs.

She enjoyed reading, birding, discussing politics and world affairs, visiting with friends and hiking. Exploring new trails with old friends brought her great pleasure.
Survivors include nieces and cousins in other states, her late husband’s family in Hawaii, and dear friends Helen Baker and Janet Baker Starkey of Bellingham.

In the words of Dorothy herself: “Please do not grieve for me. I had a loving family, a wonderful life, a very good marriage, a fulfilling career, dear faithful friends, opportunities to travel the world, the joy of living and experiencing the great Pacific Northwest. Who would want more than that? Just remember… I lived life MY WAY and it was a very good life! Everyone should be so lucky!”

Memorial donations may be made to the Chuckanut Bay Community Association at PO Box 4403 Bellingham, WA 98227.

Dorothy’s memorial service will be held Saturday July 21, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. at Moles Farewell Tributes in Bellingham – 2465 Lakeway Drive.

Memorial Service

  • Date & Time: July 21, 2018 (12:00 AM)
  • Venue: Moles Farewell Tributes - Bellingham
  • Location: 2465 Lakeway Drive Bellingham, WA 98229 - (Get Directions)
  • Phone Number: (360) -73-3-0510

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10 responses to Dorothy E. Gonsalves

  1. Cindy Ferrie says:

    You were a wonderful teacher, and I always had fun in your classes. Thank you! – “Catalina”

  2. My mother Nancy Stoops is by my side as we again look at Dot Gonsalves’ obituary, and now so many photos are up also! I remember Dot as the beautiful redhead who was a Spanish teacher (when my Dad worked with Harris at the Lummi reservation in the early 50’s). She was an inspiration to me –I also became a Spanish teacher, and am a Dot! May she rest in peace! Nancy Stoops and daughter Dot Stoops Mason, Nov 17, 2018

  3. Aunt Dot was a tremendous positive influence on my entire family. Her inspiration helped guide each of our lives in unique and wonderful ways. Accompanying her on a West African cruise and a tour of Costa Rica were highlights of my life. It was an honor for us to be touched by her life.

  4. Keith Martin says:

    I first met Sra. Gonsalves when she and her husband built their unique home over a high waterfall in the forest, down the creek from my family’s home on Chuckanut Drive. They were wonderful neighbors. Both were Spanish teachers. When I got to Sehome, Dorothy was disappointed that I had elected to take German, but she was delighted when I finally learned Spanish from her in my senior year. She was a marvelous teacher. Such a fun class.After I grew up and moved on, I didn’t see her often, but our brief visits were always pleasant. I last saw her about 10 years ago. I am very glad that I knew this fine person.

  5. Aunt Dot really opened my eyes to the world! As a young boy, I remember visiting her in Bellingham. I was in awe of the beauty of her home and where she lived. We went out on a boat and I was introduced to sea fishing. She graced me and my family with stories of traveling. When I was older and looking for a college, she toured me around Bellingham and Western Washington University. It would’ve been a tremendous experience going to college there and staying near her. And every year I would look forward to her typed Christmas letter detailing all the adventures and experiences she had. Aunt Dot, we are all going to miss you!

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