Dorothy Y. Slape, 91, died of natural causes at her home in Sonora on Feb. 16, 2018. The eldest of six children, Dorothy was born and raised in Koloa, Kauai, Territory (now State) of Hawaii. She enjoyed a rather idyllic childhood until the bombing of Pearl Harbor catapulted the U.S. into World War II. Among other things, mandatory gasoline rationing compelled her father to close his service station. The family made ends meet and helped in the war effort by providing laundry service for U.S. troops stationed on Kauai. A few years later, while attending the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, Dorothy met her future husband, John “Jack” Slape, a U.S. Navy seaman stationed at Pearl Harbor. She was working her way through college as a ballroom dance instructor for the Arthur Murray Dance Studio, and he was her student! They eventually married and settled in northern California.
Dorothy worked full-time throughout most of her adult life, including positions at Fort Mason, Lockheed, and Santa Clara University. She earned a Masters Degree in English from San Jose State University where she worked for more than 30 years in the Admissions and Records Department. To avoid being idle during evenings and weekends, Dorothy also worked part-time for many years at Macy’s department store. She finally retired from SJSU at the age of 83! Wherever she worked or lived, Dorothy was known for her gentle, sweet spirit, her patience, kindness, selflessness, generosity and amazing work ethic. She was a devout member of St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church in Milpitas.
Dorothy is survived by her daughter, Susan Vegter-Slape and son-in-law, Frans Vegter, of Sonora; granddaughters, Alisa and Melinda, of southern California; sister, Jean Mundell, of Los Gatos; brother, Paul Uemura, of Hawaii; and numerous nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Tetsuji “Ted” and Matsuyo (Koga) Uemura; brother, Herbert; and sisters, Katherine and Marjorie.
In accordance with her wishes, Dorothy was interred in St. Patrick’s Catholic Mountain View Cemetery in Sonora. Private family services have been held. Those who knew Dorothy are encouraged to share their thoughts and memories at http://dorothy-slape.forevermissed.com