DODT, Willena (Willie)—Passed away January 20, 2021, at the age of 98. Willie was born in Phoenix, Arizona, on February 8, 1922. She graduated from Kenilworth Elementary School and Phoenix Union High School. During high school, Willie, her sister Marian and good friend Ila Mae, as The Three Notes, sang on a weekly radio show hosted by Howard Pyle, who later became Governor of Arizona. Willie married Charles E. Dodt, her high school sweetheart, and they raised 9 children. After 45 years of marriage, Charles died from complications of Guillain-Barre’ Syndrome. Willie sang in the St. Agnes Catholic Church choir and volunteered at her church and the diocese. She practiced yoga, enjoyed bowling, did some professional dressmaking, took up aerobics, attended weekly lunch meetings of the “stitch and bitch” group from Gerard High School and traveled with her sister Marian. After 11 years of widowhood, she met Robert J. Muller, who was the love of her mature years. They traveled and enjoyed being with the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren.
Willie was a whiz at Scrabble, honing her skills in weekly matches with Bob and sister Marian. Many of her grandchildren delighted in taking her on in a match of Scrabble to see if they could beat her. Recently, a note was found that Willie wrote, dated 8-28-95, to her children: “I want you all to know I think you are really good people, and I don’t know how I was so lucky to have you. I really don’t know that I deserved such neat children.”
Willie is survived by her children: Willena Conley, Charles (Karen), Loren (Michael), Charlene Nelson (Bill), David, Mike (Nancy), Cynthia Stephens, Dennis (Beth) and Steve (Wendy); 21 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and 7 great great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law Betty Dodt and Bernadette Sephton; and an extended family (Sandy Dodt, Margie Dodt, Pam Dodt, Rebecca Joy, Cara Ganter and David Stephens)—not to forget Jim Bierschbach, Music Director at St. Agnes Catholic Church.
The family wants to thank Hospice of the Valley, Dr. Matthew Skinner, Angie Lopez, and especially Delilah Reyes of Sinai Assisted Living for her thoughtful, vigilant care of our mother for 5 years.
Services will be held at St. Agnes Catholic Church, 1954 N 24th Street, Phoenix, on Tuesday, February 2, 2021 with Visitation @ 9:00 A.M.; Rosary @ 9:30 A.M.; Mass @ 10:00 A.M. Masks and social distancing required. Condolences may be expressed at www.whitneymurphyfuneralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations made to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E Flower St., Phoenix, AZ 85014.