Dorothy Lee Durrwachter (nee Chitwood), 96, passed away at 1:40PM Sunday, February 19, 2023 at her St. Peters home, surrounded by many of those who loved her most.
She was born on October 24, 1926 in Salem, MO, the oldest child of Lyman and Thelma (Broyles) Chitwood, and was a “piece worker” during World War II. She also won a scholarship to study for her beautician’s license at that time and helped support her family with her various earnings.
In addition to being a fantastic cook and an elite progressive rummy player, one of her greatest achievements was raising 7 boys in a 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom, no-basement house with little to no assistance. At one time, she had 4 boys under 5, including a set of twins!
While in retirement in her husband’s hometown of Dover, TN in the 1980s, she studied for and proudly passed her General Educational Development (GED) test. Living in Dover also introduced Dorothy to the joy of fishing and she often out-caught her husband, who had DECADES more experience! After moving back to Missouri in 2007, she enjoyed reading the St. Louis Post-Dispatch front to back each day with her cup of percolated coffee, and got most of her TV news from KSDK, Channel 5. She was also a huge fan of “high rent” milk (NOT dark!) chocolate (like Mavrakos, See's, and Crown Candy...never that waxy Brach's stuff!), with friends and family often gifting her with it. Dorothy never tired of Crappie Fish Fries and her family always insisted that she make the slaw AND the hush puppies. She loved watching Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and in 2019 attended a party with host Ben Mankiewicz and one of the stars of Meet Me in St. Louis, Margaret O'Brien.
Dorothy is survived by 6 of her 7 children (ALL boys!), Bob (Debbie) Durrwachter, Steve (Roni) Durrwachter, Jerry (Shirley) Durrwachter, Greg (Joan) Durrwachter, Scott (Cindy) Durrwachter, and Jeff (Kelly) Durrwachter, her daughter-in-law, Brenda Kaye Durrwachter (nee Phelps, widow of Dennis), all twelve of her grandchildren, all 8 of her great-grandchildren, and all 3 of her great, great-grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband of nearly 72 years, John Calvin (J.C.) Durrwachter, Jr., her 3rd oldest son, Dennis Lee Durrwachter, her parents, and all but one of her 5 siblings, Dwanda Jo Key (nee Chitwood).
Special Mention should be made of her 2nd oldest niece, Linda Jean Gallego (nee Edmondson), who doted on her in her final years and came closest to being the daughter she never had.