March 03, 1921 - February 27, 2012
Margarita Guttormsen Dolejsi
March 3, 1921- February 23, 2012
We mourn our mother, friend, and beloved wife of Del. She was a woman of the 20th century, shaped by the Depression and World War II; a faithful daughter of the Catholic Church, and a devoted, loving and committed wife and mother.
Margarita was born in 1921 in Pueblo, Colorado to Clara Margarita Keightley and Gunnar Guttormsen. Margarita was raised by her maternal grandparents and aunts in Pueblo, as her mother did not survive the childbirth. At 13, she joined her father, stepmother Anna Stalick, brothers Gunnar and Rudy, and sister Agnes in Everett, Washington. She also joined the extended and extensive Guttormsen family, with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins - connections she valued and cherished her whole life. She loved school and learning, and excelled at writing. She graduated from Everett High School in 1938. She attended Central Washington College, but returned to Everett to work.
During the war, she worked for Safeway, managing the Everett Broadway store. She loved to dance and socialize, and at the end of the war, at a USO dance met Del (Emanuel) Dolejsi, stationed at Paine Field and soon to be discharged. Having found her handsome man, with a last name more interesting than her own, she and Del married in Everett Dec 30, 1945. Her love to laugh matched well with his love of bad puns.
Margarita and Del raised six of their own, and fostered numerous other children from Catholic Community Service over the next 30 some years. They were founding members of St Paul’s Parish and active parishioners for nearly 40 years. They were honored by Catholic Community Services for their long service as foster parents.
Margarita always loved reading and learning. She never left the house without a book tucked away, “just in case.” In 1972, she enrolled at Highline Community College, and earned an Associate of Arts in Library Science in 1973. She then worked for the Quinton Instrument Company in Seattle as a librarian assistant.
Margarita enjoyed traveling, but not flying. Car trips, with the station wagon packed full of kids and food, were standard summer occurrences. She loved train travel, and took trips to Colorado and California on several occasions. She and Del took a number of cruises – Alaska and the Panama Canal were highlights. She did manage the airplane a few times – to visit her son and family in Alaska, and to see Hawaii.
She loved to fill her house with family, friends, and food. A recurrent image is of Mom in the kitchen, looking into the pot, questioning if there would be enough food? There was always more than enough, and always room for one more at the table.
In her later years, as health issues lessened her ability to speak and write clearly, she still laughed at herself and the sometimes silly things that came out of her mouth. Mom also continued to care for others in her retirement community and even at her assisted living facility. She always was a smiling, welcoming and caring presence to others. She still, and most clearly, communicated her intense love for all of us.
Margarita is survived by her husband, Del, her sister Agnes Johnson and brother Rudy Guttormsen, her daughters Patricia Stackhouse (Paul Stackhouse) and Mary Kay Dolejsi (Chris Russell), sons Ned (Colleen Branagan), Mark (Mary), Paul (Katie) and Patrick, daughter-in law Susanna; grandchildren Caprice, Angela, Nathan, Dale, Bryan, Michael, Marcus, William, Brad, Julia, Helen, Joseph, Brendan, Michael, John-Paul; several great-grandchildren and a great-great-granddaughter, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Her beloved brother Gunnar preceded her in death.
Funeral Mass celebrating her life will be 11 am March 3, 2012, on what would have been her 91st birthday, at St. Paul’s Catholic Church, 10001 - 57th Ave S, Seattle WA 98178. Remembrances may be made to Catholic Community Services of Western Washington, or St. Paul’s Parish.