Our Lives Are Stories: My Friend Dorothy

Dorothy Hoard

Celebration of Life for Dorothy Hoard March 25, 2014

As a storyteller, I see our lives as stories written on the wings of time.  Years ago I wrote this poem for someone who meant a lot to me.  I share it today to celebrate my friend Dorothy, a friend of 45 years.

Our Lives are Stories

Our lives are stories written on the wings of time.
Each day is a page in the book of living.
Each chapter a season through which we pass.
And each word a window to our soul.
The story begins long before we wail our first cry.
The story continues beyond our last breath.
It is the ones we touch along the way,
That holds the story in their hearts.

Today you will hear the story of one whose life was well lived through times of joy and times of tragedy. We are here celebrating the life of one of Los Alamos’ most ardent supporters, Dorothy Hoard. You will hear how she gave of her time, her talents, and her heart to many aspects of this community and beyond.  How she loved the world around her and told those stories in books, articles, and paintings.  She felt telling the historical stories through petroglyphs, dendroglyphs, homesteads, and old roads was important to this and the next generation.  Her curiosity and love for all around her challenged us all to do the same.

Dorothy was born Dorothy Jay Goetz, July 30, 1932.  She died March 3, 2014.  At her passing she was 81 years young.  She married Donald Hoard in 1954 and moved to Los Alamos in 1963.  She had 5 children, one that died as an infant.  And she has 6 grandchildren.

Now I invite you to listen to the stories of how Dorothy changed the world, spread love and laughter, and helped each of us be better because she was a friend, a colleague, a companion, a mother, a wife, and a grandmother.

Speakers included Jason Lott, Superintendent of Bandelier, Colleen Olinger, a friend and Becky Oertel, a friend and colleague.

Closing the Celebration

Dorothy, we celebrate your life.  We will miss your friendship, your companionship on the journey of discovery. We will look at your simple drawings depicting a plant or animal and marvel at your gift.  We will miss your no-nonsense approach to life, your demand for correctness, and your curiosity.

We are grateful for the life of Dorothy. For us, there is a sense of gratitude she was in our lives. We know that part of her has passed but her spirit will be carried within us every day.  We now say goodbye to her earthly presence.  But each time we touch a flower, see a butterfly, stand on the rim of a canyon and observe the majesty of the landscape, we will remember what she contributed to our lives making us stronger in all that we do.

We are grateful for Dorothy’s dedication to life but also the dedication of her friends and family and their contribution to her life and in her death.

Dorothy, we are grateful your story was intertwined with ours, even if it does not seem long enough.

The poem continues and ends:


We will never forget you.
You changed the world by being yourself.
Your love and laughter still spreads like ripples on the water.
Your story is written on our hearts. 

May all of us leave this place renewed in our commitment to live our lives to the fullest in our times of joy and tragedy, in mundane times and in times of discovery, in our waking and in our sleeping.  Dorothy, your story IS written on our hearts.

This poem was put to music by Alison Carlisi, my daughter.

Click here to see the full Celebration of life

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