Dorothy Legacie

Obituary of Dorothy Irene Legacie

Dorothy was born in Tacoma, Washington, to William Warren and Ruth (Strand) Collins on March 10, 1927; she passed away in Shelton on January 25, 2024, at the age of 96. She developed a tenacious spirit growing up during the Depression years in Tacoma. Her parents had divorced, and her father was being treated at a tuberculosis sanitarium, both of which added to the challenges of that time. As an only child, she learned to be self-reliant. She assisted her mother by managing their daily shopping and cooking her own breakfasts. She also developed a love of reading, especially magazines, as her mother worked with her beauty shop customers. She graduated from Stadium High School and reported to her first office work position the following day.

She met the love of her life, Ernest R. Legacie, at a boarding house where she was able to live with her dad following his recovery and release from the tuberculosis sanitarium. Dorothy and Ernest were married on November 19, 1945, and enjoyed over 60 years together. They had four daughters, Lanette (Ramon) Gutierrez, Laurie (Steven) Rawlins, Leanne (Ray) Stahl, and Diana (Erik) Callison. Dorothy is also survived by nine grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, and six great-great-grandchildren.

Beginning in 1947, Dorothy worked alongside her husband to build a reputable logging business known as Legacie Lumber Company. She managed the financial end of the business, but there were also jobs where she went out in the woods and ran the heavy equipment, skidding logs onto the landing for shipping. Together they were a successful team.  She also enjoyed her time working for the state government and the many friends that she made there.  Working as a real estate agent was another highlight of her diverse career years.

Her love of the beach and the waters of the South Puget Sound was inherited from her Norwegian ancestry. Her mother’s family name, Strand, translates into English as “beach,” and she had a lifelong love affair with local beaches. During the first part of their marriage, they lived on Titlow Beach in Tacoma; later they bought beach property on Fox Island. Agate hunting, shell collecting, clam digging, beach cooking and campfire song fests were all part of many weekends spent with family and friends there. Their final home was on the south end of Harstine Island, overlooking the beach with a commanding view of Mount Ranier. They also owned boats on which they loved to cruise the waterways of the South Sound, but they also cruised all the way to the San Juan Islands for getaway vacations.

Wherever they lived, Dorothy loved working in her gardens. She grew a variety of flowers but also enjoyed growing food for the family. Raspberries and loganberries were two of her favorite treats to grow, but she also grew organic vegetables, even unusual ones, before they were popular. The family enjoyed spinach salads, kohlrabi, cabbages, and sugar pod peas each summer as the children were growing up at their Black Lake home near Tumwater.

Art, dance, and history were three of her favorite pursuits. She studied oil painting and enjoyed painting landscapes, especially of North Dakota family sites. Many family members still treasure the ceramic art that she created. When Dorothy wasn’t enjoying dancing with her husband on Friday nights, she could be found performing with a local Hawaiian hula dance group. She enjoyed volunteering at the Washington State History Museum, helping with fundraising quilts and maintaining the pioneer medicinal garden. She was proud of her family history and her membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution organization. Reading, especially nonfiction books about people and history, was another passion that she enjoyed all the days of her life.

Dorothy loved her final home on Harstine Island. She enjoyed the Friday night pool room neighborhood gatherings with good friends and food, and the beach picnics as well. It was a place of peace and beauty during the final years of her life. Her family appreciates the legacy of courage and perseverance in pursuing their own dreams that she has left for them.

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