A light in the world went dark on July 7, 2022, when Dolores Arlene Gillette passed away. An ordinary woman some might think but extraordinary to us, her family. She was a mother, a grandmother, and a great-grandmother. She was a wife. She was a sister. She was an aunt. She was a friend, to many.
She never met a stranger who didn’t become a friend.
She backpacked around the world in her 50s. She went back to college in her 70s. She owned restaurants and liquor stores. She worked for the government. She was a classical-music singer. She worked in Yellowstone National Park. She was a traveling saleswoman.
She remembered everyone’s birthday. She remembered everyone’s anniversaries. She loved holidays; always dressing for each occasion.
She loved classical music and was an avid attendee of the Las Vegas Philharmonic – spending many concerts backstage watching the orchestra member's bags and purses just so she could be close to the music.
She was an amazing cook. She never served a meal that someone didn’t love. She made sure everyone was always fed and full.
She loved to roller skate. She loved to ride a bike. She loved to dance. She loved to sing. She loved concerts. She loved to collect antique fans. She loved to sail on boats. She loved to swim and lay in the sun. She loved to watch old movies. She loved fireworks. She loved a good, dry martini with olives.
For 93 years she shined her own light on a world that sometimes needs more light. She looked for and found the positive in life and wanted to give that to those she loved. She had a lust for life, and you could feel that and see it. She wanted those around her to genuinely be happy and she would make sure that in some small way she could make that happen.
She could make any flower or plant grow. She loved the tulips in Holland and the gardens in England.
She would always call her family and friends, checking in on each one. To say hello. To see how you were. To hear all about your day.
She donated clothes and house items to charity, never throwing anything away when she knew there were people out there that needed them.
All these things might seem ordinary. But these are all the things that made up this woman. A woman who somehow, in some small way, made the world a little brighter. She was the good things that you look for in life. She was a woman that loved and was loved – this is what makes her extraordinary.
She gave us, her family, love. She gave the world love, and she loved the people in it. This makes her extraordinary.
The world will be a little darker without her light. A little quieter without her laugh. A little lonelier without her hellos. A little sadder without her happiness. But the time she spent on this earth made the earth a better place.
We will all miss her - all of us who were lucky enough to know her in this lifetime. An ordinary life, but extraordinary to us. A life well lived and a life we will miss.
Dolores, more affectionately known to friends as “Dee” and to her family as “Mom-Mom” was born April 2, 1929, in Washington, D.C. She spent most of her life in Los Angeles and finally settled in Las Vegas for the past two decades. She is survived by her three children, Debra, Carrie, and Steve, and his wife, Gina. Is a grandmother to Kiko, Michael, Kristin, Pat, Jameson, and Alistair. And a great-grandmother to Zara, Luna, and Gunner. She was born to parents Rose and Jack Cordell, and had one sister, Bobby. Besides her immediate family, she was loved by her niece, Robyn and her husband Bill, and Robyn’s children, Tobin and John Henry; and her nephew Dennis and his wife Linda and their children Kristina and Karlee. And she was a dear friend to many … too many to list.