Cover photo for Dorothy Woods's Obituary
Dorothy Woods Profile Photo
1926 Dorothy 2024

Dorothy Woods

February 14, 1926 — February 15, 2024


   The long way home. Dorothy Eleanor Gustafson was born to Oscar and Ella (Ask) Gustafson on Valentines Day, Feb. 14, 1926, in Sharon, ND. Their older two children, Dolly and Cliff, joined Dorothy by her fifth birthday in welcoming two more children, Gordon and Leroy, to their family before they moved west to farm outside of Alexander where the family would live on the farm during the Dust Bowl and Great Depression from 1931 - 1936. The first year crops were destroyed by drought, the next by grasshoppers, and the third by green worms that covered every surface, every field. The family moved to town, and the children moved from their one-room school, the Rowe School, to Alexander. 

   At 14, Dorothy took her first job as a clerk at the Alexander Post Office while attending school and helping to raise her younger sisters and brothers, with the family growing to include Jerome, Avis, Monica and Jerry. Moves to Rawson, back to Alexander and Williston followed. In Williston, the family had two more children, Larry and Mylo, with the family moving back to Mayville in 1946. Dorothy graduated from Alexander High School in 1944, leaving by train next day for Seattle where she was a Rosie the Riveter, working for Boeing in Defense Industry, before returning to teach in a one-room school house in MacKenzie County, continuing to a lifetime of working in a variety of industries from caretaking seniors, which she did until age 89, the apple orchards of Washington to selling real estate. She quilted, baked, and volunteered her talents whenever possible, putting others first.

   Her favorite job was working for Continental Airlines which allowed her to help support her family alongside her husband Elvin (Bud) Marmon (married 1946) while also exploring the world. She traveled to many countries. Her favorite was Portugal, inspiring her childrens and grandchildrens love of travel. Their first two children, Georgia and Judy were born at Union Hospital, Mayville, where theyd moved home,” raising their children and Buds brothers, Floyd, Zane, Donnie and Gail Marmon in Mayville and Portland until the summer of 1951 when they moved to Garrison where Bud worked on the Garrison Dam. Their daughters Janell and Jodi were born there. 

   For the next 35 years, Dorothy and her family moved often, living in California, Illinois, New York, Washington, Colorado, returning twice to live in North Dakota in Minot and Deering. Dorothy worked outside of the home, helped raise their daughters as well as their grandchildren, and made a home for all. Their Denver home was a gathering place for family and friends, near and far. Later, she was instrumental in raising a great-granddaughter, Maizie, as well. In 1986, Dorothy married LN Woods, moving to Florida where Dorothy lived following Woodys passing in 2003 until returning home” to Mayville with her daughter Janell, in the fall of 2020. She continued to be the heart of the home, wherever that home existed. 


   Dorothys view out on Main Street from her chair next to her bay window, her love of music at Rainbow Garden, her back-row seat at nearly every Lindaas Barn Dance for the past two years and an array of people who she befriended, including Debbie Paintner, Pam Sedler, Alison Gibson, Sharon Peterson, Lute Simley and Craig and Arlys Bye, along with sister, Monica Miller (Hatton) and nephew Kevin Pope, made that homecoming a warm and welcome one to Mayville where her grandparents settled in 1893. Mayville and Traill County, for all of her moving, was always home.”

   Dorothy was well-known among family and friends for her kindness and her relationship with God. She was a founding member of Resurrection Lutheran Church, Winter Haven, FL, attending local churches in Mayville and online since 2020. Her unwavering Faith served her well in her last few months of life while she was under the care of Hospice of the Red River Valley. She peacefully went home to God the day after her 98th birthday on February 15, 2024.

   She is survived by daughters Jodi (Jim) Scott of Summerfield, FL,  Janell Marmon, of Mayville, ND, Judy Baumgarten of Republic, MO, and Georgia (Robert) Hill of Northglenn, CO, eleven grandchildren, Cristyl Scott, Kelly Scott, Val Scott, Cheryl Scott, Thomas Stevens, Patrick Stevens, Sean (Jodie) Ammon, James Sawyer, Courtland (Sara) Sawyer, Caryn (Dave) Smith, and Tracy (Jim) Schneider; 24 great-grandchildren, four great-great grandchildren, sisters Monica Miller of Hatton, ND and Avis Steinwand of Longmont, Colorado, an array of Gustafson, Marmon and Woods nieces and nephews, including her weekly 4-H Zoom kids, the Dwyers, Floyd (Jean) Marmon, and special friends far and near.

   She was proceeded in death by parents, Ella (Ask) and Oscar Gustafson, brothers and sister, Cliff, Gordon, LeRoy, Jerry, Jerome, Larry, Mylo and Dolly, nephews Zane, Donnie, and Gail Marmon, grandchild, Demian Stevens, and great-grandsons Levie Hill and Chad Gosselin.

   Dorothys last act of giving and kindness was the donation of her remains for medical study at UND. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Memorials may be directed to Hospice of the Red River Valley, 1701 38th St. S. Suite 101, Fargo, ND 58103, or to the Friends of the Lindaas Barn Dance, P.O. Box 181, Mayville, ND 58257 to whom we owe much for their guidance and welcome home. 

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