Dorothy Bohl

Obituary of Dorothy Ruth Bohl

It is with deep sadness, I share the news that my mother, Dorothy Z. Bohl (Dot), passed away on September 12th, 2021 at age 93 after a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer. While a few paragraphs cannot distill a lifetime of love, my mother is worthy of great praise for a life welllived. Mom was born on May 18, 1928, in NYC, and she was the second child of loving parents Frederick and Ruth Zierick. Mom’s father, Fred, founded a metal stamping manufacturing company, Zierick Manufacturing, and her mother, Ruth, was a homemaker. Childhood hometowns included New York City and Yonkers, New York, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Mom attended Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. After receiving her Master’s degree in education from Columbia University, Mom taught at a one-room schoolhouse in New Castle, NY, and 3rd grade in Hawthorne, NY. During a YMCA trip to Europe in 1953, Mom met the love of her life, a handsome television director from Appleton, Wisconsin, named Donald Arthur Bohl, who worked in Manhattan. Dad’s show-biz friends attempted to convince him that he was not compatible with a school teacher. Although they did break up for a short time, Mom sent Dad a letter and a booklet of train tickets to visit her in the suburbs, and the rest is history. The couple wed in Bronxville, NY, on April 23, 1954, and thereafter, embraced the couple’s moniker “Dot and Don.” Three daughters followed-Victoria (Vicki), Beth, and me (Amy). When Dad exited show business in 1966, our family moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where Mom and Dad owned an art gallery and later, a travel business that took tours to Israel. Mom and Dad gave us the childhood gift of spending winters in Florida and summers on a lake in Putnam Valley, NY. There, we enjoyed water skiing and canoeing, romping through the woods, and countless adventures with cousins. Mom and Dad loved to entertain family and friends with delightful picnics and dinners on their wrap-around porch overlooking the lake. Tragedy disrupted the idyllic setting in July of 1972 when Vicki was killed instantly at the age of 17, as a young man driving a motorboat struck her canoe while she and her boyfriend were taking a moonlit ride. Although devastated by their loss, I remember how my parents invited the 13- year-old boy and his parents over to our house the morning of Vicki’s funeral. There in our living room, they shared the love of Jesus with this family and expressed their forgiveness to the boy for taking their beloved Vicki. I remember Mom stating she did not want this young man’s life destroyed by one horrific accident. I recall Mom saying the loss of Vicki strengthened her marriage to Dad and her faith in her savior, Jesus Christ. My parent’s pastor boldly stated to Mom and Dad that “God does not make mistakes,” and this was the motto Mom clung to as she refused to live with bitterness or regret. As I reflect on my mother’s life, I find most remarkable her forgiving heart, gratefulness, and service to others. Mom’s special gift was hospitality. From small gatherings to large affairs, Mom loved to host and entertain. According to Dad, Mom made the best pot roast known to man. Dad, Beth, and I reaped the benefit of Mom’s nightly home-cooked meals. Mom always made sure to include friends at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners who were without family. It was not a holiday unless we had a full table. Mom’s other gift was generosity. Mom was a humble woman who loved to give more than receive. Mom delighted in giving faithfully to her church and numerous charities and ministries. Giving to others was Mom’s great joy. Mom was passionate about her job as a wife, mother, grandmother, and homemaker. Seeing Mom so tenderly care for my grandmother in her declining years was a wondrous sight to behold. During my father’s prolonged battle with congestive heart failure, Mom’s devoted, loving care was beauty in action. My parent’s enduring 55-year marriage was a love affair. Dad was her love of a lifetime. After my father’s passing, Mom, at age 85, made a courageous move from Charlotte, NC, to Madison, MS, to be near me, my husband David, and her three grandchildren. I recall being struck by Mom’s adventurous spirit and her joy at making new friends. We were so blessed to have Mom a few minutes away and have those wonderful years as part of our daily lives. Even when my family moved to Chattanooga a few years ago for David’s work and left Mom and Beth behind in Mississippi, Mom cheered us on. Mom encouraged us that the move was best for our family, she never complained and happily savored our visits, and she faithfully wrote to all of us. No tribute would be complete without mentioning Mom’s love language was mail, as she loved to send and receive it. Mom made elaborate, handmade birthday and every occasion cards for loved ones. Mom skillfully maintained her friendships through letters, reaching out to friends from her past residences in New York, Florida, Israel, and North Carolina. To all who corresponded with Mom in her final months of hospice care through cards, letters, and phone calls, you brought her great joy, and I thank you! I also owe a huge debt of gratitude to the incredible staff at St. Catherine’s Nursing Home and the hospice workers who lovingly cared for Mom in her final months. Mom lost the ability to form sentences and was limited to uttering a word or two in her last month. I was privileged to hear one last whisper of “love you” in her final days. I praise God that I had the gift of an amazing mother who loved Beth and me so well, and she was an extraordinary mother-in-law and grandmother too. Mom was a class act from start to finish. Mom provided an incredible example of selfless love, covenant marriage, and service to others as she lived out her faith daily. While graced with a gentle demeanor, petite stature, and a quiet spirit, Mom possessed an inner strength that was awe-inspiring. Mom was a prayer warrior who loved Jesus with all her heart. Mom’s constant prayer was for all her family and friends to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. When my father passed, Mom wrote, “For all of us who live on, we indeed sorrow and shed many tears when a loved one dies. However, for so many of us who believe that Jesus died to save us and give us eternal life in Heaven, we can rejoice that our loved one is in Heaven and is now free of pain and suffering.” Mom, we rejoice with you! With a grateful heart, Amy Dorothy was preceded in death by her father, Frederick Raymond Zierick, her mother, Ruth Otilay Zierick, her brother Russell Frederick Zierick (Ann), her husband Donald Arthur Bohl, and daughter Victoria Mae Bohl. Dorothy is survived by daughters Beth Ann Bohl of Madison, MS, and Amy Ruth Fowler (David) of Lookout Mountain, TN. Dorothy also leaves behind three loving grandchildren, Erin Davis Hatcliff (Griffin), of Lookout Mountain, TN, Kirsten Clark Fowler of Charlotte, NC, and David Tate Fowler of Birmingham, AL. A service to honor the life of Dorothy Z. Bohl will be held at Highlands Presbyterian Church Thursday September 23, 2021 at 2:00 PM with visitation preceding the service at 1:15PM. The family requests in lieu of flowers to please consider a gift in Dorothy’s memory to Sacred Road Ministries (https://sacredroadministries.org/) a ministry that shares the love of Christ on the Yakama Nation Reservation in Washington State.
Thursday
23
September

Visitation

1:15 pm - 2:00 pm
Thursday, September 23, 2021
Highlands Presbyterian Church
1160 Highland Colony Parkway
Madison, Mississippi, United States
601-853-0636
Thursday
23
September

Service

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Thursday, September 23, 2021
Highlands Presbyterian Church
1160 Highland Colony Parkway
Madison, Mississippi, United States
601-853-0636
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Dorothy