Dorothy Courtney Saunders

February 8, 1921 - February 28, 2015

Obituary & Service Info

Dorothy Courtney Saunders

Dorothy Courtney Saunders , age 94, of Tybee Island  passed away Saturday, February 28th, 2015 at Candler Hospital .

 
Born in Shreveport, LA on February 8, 1921 to Affie Berry and Thomas Courtney.  She was the last of 5 children. Her oldest sister, Eva Beatrice died at the age of 3 before any of the other children were born.  Other siblings were Alma Aline, Thelma, and Thomas.
 
Dorothy and Jack first moved to Savannah, Georgia soon after they were married on March 24, 1940. They had many moves after that while Jack served in the US Air Force.
 
They have 3 children - Sharon Gale Saunders was born in El Paso, TX on June 22, 1946, Stuart Daniel Saunders born in Washington, D.C. on July 29, 1949, and Stephanie Page Saunders born in Arlington, VA on March 29, 1952.
 
Jack was a U.S. Air Force officer. He died in Marin Co., CA on February 2, 1999.  He was a pilot and commander of the 417th Bombardment Group in New Guinea in World War II.  He was promoted to the rank of full Colonel in April of 1944.
 
During his career, Jack received many decorations and served with the military advisory group in Nanking China in 1948 and 1949.  He was also base commander of Wheelus Air Force  Base in Tripoli, Libya in 1954-1959.  It was the largest air force base outside the United States.
 
Dorothy was a licensed real estate broker with Frank Howard Allen and Co. in Marin County. In 1940, she became the second licensed female pilot in Louisiana but marriage interfered with pursuing a career in aviation.  She was active in many clubs and charities during the years that they traveled and raised a family.  While living in Libya in 1956, Dorothy was appointed to the board of the Conference of American Women's Activities in Europe representing the activities of Women's groups in all of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea except Italy and France.  Attendance at meetings that year in Berlin and Berchesgaten afforded an opportunity for extensive travels for Dorothy and Jack..
 
While stationed at Hamilton A.F.B. in Marin County she and Jack became partners in establishing a retail and wholesale arts and crafts supply business named Creative Merchandisers.  When Jack retired they returned from Texas and worked in the business for a couple of years then sold out to their partners.  Jack became a stock broker and Dorothy was a business manager for a group of dentists at Castro & Market St., in San Francisco for 10 years.  During that time she held every office including the presidency of the National Organization of Dental Group Managers.  She followed this career with her current one of real estate beginning in 1981.  She holds national designations of Graduate Realtors' Institute and the highest one available - Certified Residential Specialist.  She is also active on the Education and Library Committees of the Marin County Board of Realtors.  Jack took his second retirement after about four years as a stock broker and now enjoys his leisure in a variety of pursujits.    
 
Exciting family experiences occurred in October of 1985 when Jack, Dorothy, their daughter Stephanie and her husband Tom visited Devon, England and sites of the ancient roots of the Courtnery and Page families.  In Black Torrington the Minister had researched the Page Family for someone in New Zealand and was able to give dates and names of Jack's mother's family back to the 1500's.  It was a lovely day, they took the minister and his wife to lunch at the Pub in the neighboring village of Sheepswash and visited the house where Jack's grandfather had a tailor shop before immigrating to America.  
 
They explored the ruins of a medieval Courtney castle and visited Powderham Castle which has. been the home of a continual line of Courtneys since the 1300s.  Prior to the trip with Stephanie and Tom, they wrote ahead to ask if they could come to see Powderham. The reply was a suggestion to come when there would be a performance of a small touring opera company and a buffet supper in the castle.  Plans were rearranged and they were joined in Exeter by Thelma and R. B. McIlwain.  All of them stayed on the Cathedral Close where Dorothy and Thelma had stayed the previous year.  It was a wonderful evening and they were royally received by the Baroness and Earl of Devon, who introduced them as their American Cousins!  They also met the son who is Lord Courtenay.  At intermission they were taken to the private rooms and also toured the chapel.  They were invited to come again the next day but plans had already been made to depart for Scotland.
 
Dorothy is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution under the service of James Courtney.
 
Visitaiton:  12 p.m. - 2 p.m. Thursday at Bonaventure Funeral Home.
 
Funeral Services:  2 p.m. Thursday, in the Chapel of Bonaventure Funeral Home, with entombment in Forest Lawn Memory Gardens.