Obituary: Dorothy Marie Stewart O’Malley



Dorothy Marie Stewart O’Malley

October 1, 1924 – October 5, 2016

Dorothy Marie Stewart O’Malley, 92, passed away peacefully in her sleep on October 5, 2016 in Brawley, CA.   She was born October 1, 1924 in Redlands, CA, to Harry and Eugenia Stewart.

When Dorothy was 6 years old, the family moved to Brawley, CA, where Dorothy’s father would become the Brawley fire chief.  Dorothy attended Ruth Reid School, which at that time continued through junior high, and graduated from Brawley Union High School in 1942. 

Dorothy was always fond of telling about the “Great Quake” of 1940 and how it tossed the family home into their front yard. After graduation, she worked as a “soda jerk” at White Cross Drug Store in Brawley, where one day a dashing young Border Patrolman came in for a root beer float.  He would soon become her life long partner.

She went on her first date with Charles O’Malley, and they went to dinner in Mexicali.  He proposed during the date and they were married a month later on October 30, 1943.  They were married in Brawley in the home of a justice of the peace, while tricker-treaters rang the doorbell.  (Halloween was celebrated on the 30th that year.)  They celebrated 64 years of marriage until Charles’ death in 2007. 

Soon after their marriage, Chuck was transferred to National City, CA with the Border Patrol.  On September 24, 1944 their eldest child, James Donald was born.  Charles left the border patrol after 8 years, and the family returned to Imperial County where Chuck began working with his father-in-law, who had started a plumbing business.    They worked together for a number of years until Chuck branched out and started O’Malley Plumbing. 

On July 14, 1948, their second son, Patrick Michael, was born, followed by their daughter, Lea Anne who was born on June 8, 1950.  In 1969, after all the children had left home; Jim to the Army, Pat to the Navy, and Lea Anne to college, Chuck and Dot sold the plumbing busiess to Lesicka Brothers and decided to move. 

And move they did; first to Idyllwild, CA, then to numerous towns in Oregon and finally to Sequim, WA, where they lived for many years.  But, in 1994, they decided enough was enough and came back to Brawley to be closer to their children and grandchildren. 

Dorothy loved all of her grandchildren and enjoyed visiting with them and baking them cookies when they came to see her.  Dorothy loved to sew and crochet and made many of her daughter’s clothing while she was in high school.  She even made one of her gowns for her high school formal.  Later one of her nieces, Lisa Stewart Sanders, also wore the gown to one of her formals.  Her many crocheted afghans are still happily owned by numerous friends and family.  Dorothy had a wonderful sense of humor and a ready smile for all she met.  

Dorothy is preceded in death by her parents, Harry and Eugenia Stewart, her brother, Jim Stewart, and her husband, Charles.

Dorothy is survived by her sons, Jim O’Malley (Nancy) and Pat O’Malley (Becky), and her daughter Lea Anne O’Malley Brana (Joe). She is also survived by five grandchildren, Shavaun King (Lee), Lisa Sidhu (Cameron), James Michael Watte, Steven O’Malley and Lauren O’Malley, and one great-grandson, Jacob Sidhu, plus 7 nieces and nephews.

Many thanks to Cici Mendoza and Cynthia Williams for their care of our mother over the past few years.

A graveside service officiated by Pastor Ted Koroluk will be held Thursday, October 20, at Riverview Cemetery at 10:00 a.m.