February 22 at 4:26pm

Dorothy Hawthorne – Legacy of Caring Lives On

Interfaith Community Services is sad to announce that longtime supporter Dorothy Hawthorne passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Monday, July 3, 2017; she was 86 years old. Dorothy and her loving husband, Tom Hawthorne, enjoyed 69 years of marriage and were each other’s best friends. 

Dorothy volunteered at a number of charities and served as a Gray Lady at Balboa Naval Hospital during the Vietnam War.  Dorothy’s experience with active duty military and veterans at Balboa later inspired both her and Tom to provide the lead gift to create the Hawthorne Veteran and Family Resource Center in Escondido.   

The Hawthorne Center is home of the 32-bed Interfaith Recuperative Care program serving both homeless veterans and non-veterans post-hospitalization for physical and/or mental health conditions in a caring healing environment.  Since opening in fall of 2016, 75% of the Hawthorne Veteran and Family Resource Center clients have exited to safe housing.   

Dorothy was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1930. She met Tom at the age of 16 while working at a Thrifty Drug Store soda fountain and they married in 1948, having six children. While raising their children, Dorothy supported Tom in his success 50-year career as the Caterpillar tractor dealer at Hawthorne Machinery Company.  Dorothy loved the sun and being at home to tend to her flowers while surrounded by their dogs, cats, chickens, and sheep. She was a devoted woman and her faith was rooted in the Escondido branch of the Community of Christ church. 

Dorothy will be remembered as a quiet, gentle, and generous woman – especially to those who got the opportunity to know her at Interfaith. She was kind to everyone she encountered and was known around our offices for the delicious oranges she would grow and distribute in Interfaith’s sack lunches provided daily.  

Dorothy is survived by her loving husband Tom, who continues to generously support Interfaith and the rest of North San Diego County. She is also survived by three of her children, 10 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren.

Dorothy will be missed, but her legacy will live on as the namesake of the Hawthorne Veteran and Family Resource Center.