A century of stories to tell

Dorothy 'Dot' Carlisle active during career and in community

Dorothy 'Dot' Carlisle active during career and in community

September 13, 2006|by MARLO BARNHART

WILLIAMSPORT - Anyone who is 102 years old should have some interesting stories to tell. Dorothy "Dot" Carlisle is no exception.

Back in the 1940s, Dot and her first husband, a druggist, were living in Washington, D.C.

Dot had gone to Strayer Business College and was working part time at a boys' school.

"Then, I got a call from Strayer saying a legal secretary was needed for work at the U.S. Supreme Court," Dot said. At first, she said she wasn't interested in a full-time job.

But she went down to talk with someone, and learned that the work was connected to the appointment of a commission by then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt to help rewrite the rules of criminal procedures for the federal courts - a job in the Supreme Court building.

Dot was second on the list to be hired, but the first woman went home to the Midwest, so Dot got the job.


"I was in my 30s then," Dot said from her apartment at Homewood Retirement Center which she has called home for 17 years.

Those were exciting times for a young woman from New England, Dot said. She previously had worked in a Boston law office for seven years.

Dot was born Sept. 6, 1904, in Somerville, Mass., the only child of Benjamin and Lillian Jones. Her 102nd birthday was celebrated quietly.

Dot said she met her first husband, Edwin "Gus" Kenner, in Washington. The couple married in 1936, and moved to Hagerstown in 1943, when Gus started a new career. They lived in Hagerstown for six years before he died in 1949.

In 1952, Dot was working for Remington Rand when she married Ned Carlisle. He died in 1995, just shy of his 100th birthday.

Over the years, Dot worked at a number of jobs in Washington County. She served as interim director for the Commission on Aging before retiring in 1971.

In addition to her career, she has been active in community service, including the Washington County Hospital Auxiliary, Homewood Auxiliary and Dry Run Homemakers Club.

There also were memberships in the Daughters of the American Revolution, Women's Club, Hagerstown Order of the Eastern Star Chapter 89 and Hagerstown Business and Professional Women's Club.

It was Dot's volunteer work in the gift shop at Homewood that prompted her to want to live at the facility, and she said she has been very happy there.

"It is more like a country club - there's lots to do here," Dot said.

When she first came, Dot still had her own car, provided her own entertainment and still could go to church in Hagerstown.

Dot joined Christ's Reformed Church in Hagerstown, where she did committee work and volunteered in the church office.

Dot doesn't have a car anymore, and now attends chapel at Homewood. While she loves the concerts at Homewood, she misses going to The Maryland Theatre.

Dot is visited regularly by her second husband's great-nephew.

"He's been an angel, and takes me to the grocery store," she said.

Dot's stepson and daughter-in-law also help her shop.

In August, there was a party for Dot and others who have birthdays in September. But no one but Dot could boast 102 years to celebrate.

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