Dorthy “Dottie” Burckart Summers Avery, 95, of Virginia Beach, transitioned from this plane of existence Monday, April 27, 2020.
Expressions of sympathy may be made to the Salvation Army or a charity of the donor’s choice.
Dorthy was born in Glenfield, Pennsylvania to Harry and Frances Burckart. Her childhood memories influenced experiences of her own children. She spoke of having chickens growing up. Her memory was, “they were mean when you tried to take the eggs from the nest.” In later years, she made sure her children had a little farm experience by providing colored chicks for Easter. Christmas was another memorable time in her early life. Her parents closed the front room a week before Christmas to prepare for Santa. She brought some of that same feeling of Christmas and Santa Claus to her own children by making sure, on Christmas morning, all of the children entered the Christmas room together. Her adult children still believe in Santa.
She enjoyed playing softball and was athletic growing up, especially enjoying softball. Some would call her a tomboy. As she grew older, she enjoyed swimming and golfing. She always encouraged her children to be active. She was an avid Pittsburgh Steelers football fan. Later in life, she adopted the Redskins.
After graduating from Oliver High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at the age of 16. Dorthy began working for Alcoa Aluminum, where she met J.P. She continued her working career after her children started school in several businesses in Northern Virginia as an administrative assistant.
She taught Sunday school when her children were young. Dorthy won awards for her flower arranging and later took up doll making. After retirement, she began to travel the world. A great accomplishment in her life was knowing how to be a great friend and helping people she knew who needed extra support.
She was preceded in death by her spouses, John P. “J.P.” Summers and Lyman Avery; three siblings; and grandson. Interment will be held in National Memorial Park & King David Memorial Gardens, Falls Church. A private family service will be held in the future.
She is survived by her children, Diana (Gene) McDonald, Jackie (Doug) Harris, David (Jeanie) Summers and Gail (Gary) Phillips; and eight grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
Boundless gratitude to the wonderful caregivers who were a part of Dorthy’s life these past few years.
Share online condolences with the family at Altmeyer Funeral Homes & Crematory.