Dorothy “Dottie” Raymer died in her home on Wednesday, July 5 in Madison, WI. She was born in Springfield, IL to Joan and Donald Raymer, the second of three children.
Dottie graduated Mount Holyoke College in 1977, and pursued graduate studies toward a Masters in Education before joining the Peace Corps to serve in St. Vincent. She became a fifth and sixth grade teacher at Chestnut Hill School in Newton, MA, then a freelance writer and editor.
Over her nearly 40-year writing career, she authored and edited dozens of books that touched the lives of millions of students and readers. Her work focused on educational curriculum and children’s books, including several titles for American Girl. Her work with American Girl brought her to Madison, which would become her home for the next 28 years.
Dottie had two children, Will and Elsie. She taught her children to love reading and writing, and to effect change in the world. She was a fierce advocate for social and political justice and was deeply involved in her community. She was a staunch feminist who raised her children according to those values. She loved her children — “more than tonkentel.”
Dottie was an avid traveler, an excellent gardener, and a dedicated volunteer. She visited all 50 states, and she lived in four countries. She was a member of Grace Church, where she served at the Men’s Shelter.
She is survived by her children, her older sister Mimi Dorward, her younger brother Charlie Raymer, and many dear friends. She meant more to her loved ones than she knew; she brought out the best in those around her.
A funeral service will be held at Grace Episcopal Church at 116 W Washington Ave, Madison, WI at 2:00pm on Saturday, July 15.
To celebrate Dottie’s love of reading, you may bring a book for collection at the service, which will be donated to Madison Reading Project. Books must meet these conditions for donation. Please limit one book per person; if you’d like to donate directly to Madison Reading Project, you may do so here.