Ronald A Dorsett

image of Ronald A Dorsett

Ronald A Dorsett

Ronald Albert Abner Dorsett was born to Roscoe (Rocky) Virgil Dorsett, Sr. and Maude Irene Harris Dorsett on February 25, 1922 in Yakima, WA. He was welcomed by his brother, Virgil and his sister, Catherine. Ron’s early childhood was spent primarily in Toppenish, WA. When he was six, his little sister, Glora Mae (Chick) arrived. Then, when he was eight, financial pressure from the Great Depression prompted the family to move to Seattle to work in the bakery belonging to his Uncle Clarence Harris. In 1932, their family was completed with the addition of little brother, Kaye Don.

Ron grew up happily in their Greenwood neighborhood surrounded by cousins and friends, attending Greenwood Elementary and Ballard High School. Ron spent much of his free time with his cousin, Russell Harris. Bicycles and streetcars made it easy to roam the city. The two of them would often join their older brothers, Virgil and Clarence, in camping, hunting, and fishing expeditions. Their trips took them north to the Snohomish Valley and south to Puyallup. They also spent fun vacations along the Raging River.

Ron enlisted in the Washington National Guard. He was based at Camp Murray, Fort Lewis, WA. He and his fellow guardsmen called it “Swamp Murray”. He trained there as a medic. In  September, 1940 the Guard was mobilized to serve in WW2. He was sent as a surgical technician with the 41st division to the Pacific. He served with distinction in the Philippines, Australia and Papua New Guinea. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for rescuing a wounded soldier in the face of enemy fire. In 1945, en route home for discharge, he was detailed to accompany wounded soldiers back to the east coast. The ship arrived in New York harbor on VJ Day, August 14,1945. He then crossed the country by rail. He attributed his safe return from the war to his mother’s prayers.

On September 3, 1946, he wed the love of his life, Donna Joyce Pursel. They were blessed with a son, Ronald Steven(Steve) and a daughter, Lee Ann. In the mid-50’s, they moved from Seattle to the newly incorporated town of Mountlake Terrace where inexpensive housing had been built to accommodate returning GI’s and their Baby Boomer families. Many members of Ron’s family settled there as well, including Virgil, Cathy and Chick with their families and their Aunt Esther Harris Scarborough. Extended family get-togethers were common in those days and fondly remembered in later years.

Lee Ann was tragically killed in a car accident just before starting her senior year in high school. Overcome by grief, Ron and Donna moved back to Seattle. They lived on Queen Anne Hill and Ron continued his career as a health inspector. They enjoyed boating on Lake Washington and Lake Union. Later, they had a cabin on Camano Island that the extended family also enjoyed.

Ron and Donna spent many of their retirement years in Kirkland, WA. They enjoyed spending as much time as possible with their son, Steve, and grandson, Brandon. They “snowbirded” for a few years, escaping the cold, wet Pacific Northwest winters to the dry warmth of Arizona. They kept in close contact with their large extended family and relished family reunions. The siblings and their spouses (the“kids”) Virgil and Marie, Cathy and Bob, Ron and Donna, Chick and Karl and Kaye and Vel had memorable outings together including trips to La Pine, Oregon and house-boating on Lake Billy Chinook.

Tragedy struck Ron and Donna again when their son Steve died in April 2012 after battling cancer. Then, Donna began losing her struggle with Parkinson’s. Ron faithfully cared for her as her health declined. She died in August 2013.

Ron courageously continued his life’s journey. He concentrated on loving his grandson Brandon, Brandon’s family and many nieces and nephews. He maintained his friendships across the States and around the world. He had an amazing memory and shared wonderful stories about family history and the history of the United States. He lived independently until shortly before his death at the age of 98 on March 23, 2020. He left a legacy of love.

Ron is survived by his beloved grandson, Brandon Dorsett and wife, Noemi, step great-grandson, Cody, and generations of nieces and nephews. Interment with military honors will take place at Tahoma National Cemetery when the corona virus restrictions are lifted.

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