HARPSWELL — Dorothy Bonney Kavasch, 98, died Aug. 15 in Brunswick.

Born Dorothy Rapalje Bonney in 1914, she moved 12 times before entering high school in Verona, N.J. She graduated at 15 and was accepted at Cornell University, which her father had attended. When she arrived to matriculate at Cornell, school administrators thought she was too immature and sent her home for another year. Ultimately, she graduated and returned to Verona.

She married John A. Kavasch, and the couple had three children. He was pastor of a small but growing congregation, Calvary Lutheran Church, and the members of the congregation treated each Kavasch family member as one of their own.

In 1954, the family moved to St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Huntington StationN.Y., where John served until his semi-retirement in 1979.

Dorothy found enrichment from substitute teaching and eventually enrolled in a master’s program at C.W. Post College. This education enabled her to build a professional career at The State University of New York’s campuses at both Farmingdale and Stony Brook. She fondly recalled serving on the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, an accrediting organization. There, she worked on a committee chaired by the deputy mayor of New York City, John Theobald, and approved accreditation for many secondary educational institutions, as far away as Puerto Rico.

She was active in many social organizations in churches where her husband was the minister. Kavasch had a deep interest in history, and was particularly fascinated by the Civil War. In addition, she researched and kept family records, assisted by other members of her extended family.  

She is predeceased by her husband of 49 years, John.

She is survived by her daughter Helene, of South Harpswell; son Jack, of Lake Tahoe, Calif.; son Alan, of Huntington, N.Y.; as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements are private. Arrangements are in care of the Brackett Funeral Home in Brunswick. Condolences can be expressed at www.brackettfuneralhome.com.


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Dorothy B. Kavasch