Dorothy Geraldine Lynch-Heiffus
Dorothy Geraldine Lynch - Heiffus was born November 13, 1921 in rural Redding, Iowa, and was the daughter of J.O. Lynch and Ramona Smith - Lynch. She passed away January 10, 2021. Dorothy grew up in Des Moines, but often visited family in Grant City. She enjoyed much time spent at The Grant City Livestock Auction owned by J.O. and Gladys Lynch. She attended college, for a time, at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville.
Just before World War II, Dorothy headed to Los Angeles, California with several of her girlfriends from Des Moines. The troupe became part of the “greatest generation” serving the war effort as “Rosie the Riveter” girls. Dorothy’s dream of becoming a Hollywood torch singer was then put permanently on hold. However, one night at a piano bar her destiny unfolded as she met her husband Benjamin Heiffus.
Dorothy and Bennie enjoyed an exciting California life during the 1940’s and 50’s, traveling, gaming, singing, and dancing. They had many friendships. Dorothy sang at piano bars and waited tables during the daytime. The biggest milestone was the birth of their only son, Stephen. Determined to make him a gentleman, Dorothy provided ballroom dance lessons, horseback riding lessons with Colonel Douglas Murat’s Rangers at the Pickwick Riding School, and music lessons. Dorothy provided these many privileges through her lifelong career as a waitress. Stephen returned to Grant City to attend high school.
During her time as a waitress in old Hollywood she met many celebrities including Frank Sinatra, Jack Bennie, Danny Thomas and others. After the death of her husband, Bennie, in the early 60’s, Dorothy moved to Palm Springs, California. Her mother Ramona spent many years with her there. Upon retirement she returned to Grant City to live.
Dorothy became involved in delivering Meals on Wheels, The Senior Center, and caring for animals. She loved cats and adopted and fed as many as possible. She had a lifelong love of animals, including membership in the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Dorothy had good friends in Grant City and considered it her true home. She was always grateful for the kindness of Worth County people.
Dorothy’s favorite events included the Worth County Fair, the big band concert hosted by the Andrews family, and 4th of July at Allendale, and Saturday night dinners at the old Bar-X in Denver, Missouri. Dorothy was known for her great cooking – pies especially – love of an evening cocktail – good music, and gatherings. She spent much time with her late step-sister Joanne Young. On Dorothy’s 90th birthday a celebration was held in Mount Ayre, Iowa.
In recent years, Dorothy was a resident at The Pineview Manor in Stanberry, Missouri. The family of Dorothy Heiffus wishes to thank all of the staff at Pineview for making Dorothy “their own” and for their kind, generous care.
Dorothy leaves behind her son Stephen, a granddaughter Stephanie, great- grandson’s Henry and Ellis, and two great great granddaughters Charlotte and Genevieve.
You are invited to a Celebration of Life for Dorothy Heiffus on Saturday, May 29. A grave side memorial will be at 11:00 at The Redding Cemetery followed by a Celebration Open House/Covid Safe at The Shakespeare Chateau in St. Joseph, Missouri from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Because of current issues with COVID-19 the open house plans may be in-flux. All communications and updates will be posted with Prugh-Dunfee Funeral Home in Grant City, Missouri.