Folsom Funeral Service

Gibbs, Dorothy

Dorothy Marguerite (Dawson) Gibbs, a longtime resident of West Roxbury, died Thursday, January 28th, 2010 at the Beth Israel-Deaconness Medical Center in Boston after a brief illness.  She was 87.  Dorothy was born August 17, 1922 in Boston, Massachusetts, the only daughter of Joseph and Marguerite (Faust) Dawson.  She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in music from Boston University in 1943 and her Masters degree in 1944 from Mannes Music College.  Dorothy earned her Masters degree in History from the Boston University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 1969. In the late 1940’s she sang in leading roles for the New York Metropolitan Opera, sang at Carnegie Hall, and also sang at Tanglewood.  Dorothy later sang for many years in the renowned Trinity Church Choir in Boston.  Her opera performances include the role of Cherubino in Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro in New York in 1946, the role of Dorabella in Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte in New York from 1949 to 1951, the role of Idamantes in the first US performance of Mozart’s Idomeneo preformed at the Berkshire Music Festival at Tanglewood in 1947, and the role of Czypra in Johann Strauss’ Gypsy Baron at Carnegie Hall in 1948.  In addition she gave many solo performances in opera and Lieder concerts in New York between 1946 and 1952.  Dorothy was also a soloist at Central Synagogue in New York City from 1944 to 1952 and performed for the “Message of Israel” radio program from 1944 to 1951.  In later years she recalled the importance of music to the Jewish community during the war years and shortly thereafter, when many of the people she knew suffered the loss of their entire families.  Days before she died she likened the plight of the Boston Haitian community to that of her Jewish friends in New York in 1945.  In addition to the Trinity Church Choir, Dorothy performed with the Sarah Caldwell’s Opera Company in Boston, and at Temple Ohabei Shalom choir in Brookline, Massachusetts.  She taught Music Theory for 30 years at Massasoit Community College as well as European History.  She was a member of the Metropolitan Opera of New England Auditions Committee from 1990 until her death.  She was the wife of the late Dr. Raymond Weldon Gibbs and the sister of the late Richard Dawson.  Dorothy is survived by her son, Dr. Raymond W. Gibbs Jr., of Santa Cruz, California; her two daughters, Virginia Ross, and her husband Michael, of West Roxbury, and Janet Nicolos, and her husband Vassilios, of Westwood; and her five grandchildren, Jonathan and Melissa Ross, and Dimitri, Alexei, and Andreas Nicolos.  Relatives and friends are invited to attend her funeral Saturday, February 6th at 11AM at All Saints Church, 209 Ashmont Street, Dorchester followed by burial in Gethsemane Cemetery in West Roxbury.  In lieu of flowers donations to All Saints Church, 209 Ashmont Street, Dorchester, MA 02124 would be appreciated.

Guestbook Entries

  1. Rhonda (Kitover) Gabovitch
    February 3rd, 2010 | 6:56 am

    To the Gibbs family,
    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I was a classmate of Raymond’s in elementary school. My sincerest sympathies to the entire Gibbs family.

  2. Lianne Madden
    February 3rd, 2010 | 12:59 pm

    Dear Gibbs Family:

    Please accept my deepest condolences on the loss of your wonderful mother. While I did not know your parents very well, my parents (Joe & Florice Madden) did. They were friends their whole lives and your Dad actually saved my Dad’s life in surgery many years ago. It’s comforting to know that they are all together once again. May you feel your parents’ presence in your lives, as I do mine.

    Lianne Madden

  3. mary paula(fraser lydon
    February 3rd, 2010 | 7:44 pm

    dear nancy, betty and the gibbs family..please accept our condolences on the death of your dear dorothy, fondly, mary paula (fraser) lydon and barbara fraser

  4. Barbara Finkelstein
    February 4th, 2010 | 2:30 pm

    To all the members of the Gibbs Family,

    My deepest condolences on the passing of Dorothy. I had the pleasure of working with her for two decades at Massasoit CC and she was a remarkable educator and a warm and loving lady.

    Barbara Finkelstein

  5. Carl Gibbs
    February 5th, 2010 | 5:49 pm

    To all the Gibbs family.
    The New York faction of the Gibbs family wish to express our sincerest sympathy to all of you with the passing of Dottie. We had known she had some aging problems but looked well and alert at Betty’s birthday party a few years ago.
    I remember as a teenager the courting of Dottie by your father while he lived with us during med school and particularly the many hotly discussed subjects at the dinner table. As I recall they were pretty noisey and Dottie always had a strong womans position and never yielded to the male philosophy on any subject. I was also in attendance at their wedding in New York City at a little Chapel off fifth avenue (I believe) and the luncheon that followed. They were fun times and Dottie was a key player in that environment and continued to pursue her opera studies throughout it all.
    We send you all our sincere condolences. Carl, Jr.

  6. Kathy Mitchell
    February 8th, 2010 | 3:31 pm

    My deepest condolences to the family of Dorothy Gibbs. Mrs. Gibbs was a professor at MCC when I attended in 1989-1992. I was returning to college after raising my family, and was fortunate to have her teach me my very first history class since graduating High School in 1960~ she and I formed a mutual admiration for one another talking about music and history, our lives and interests. She took me “under her wing” and advised me well. I graduated from MCC in 1992 and pursued my degree of Bachelor of Arts in History from Bridgewater State College graduating in 1994. Thank you Dorothy for your warm, gentle way and your enthusiasm to teach an old dog new tricks!~ God Bless you. Kathy Mitchell

  7. Juanita Brunelle
    February 10th, 2010 | 10:05 pm

    To the family of Dorothy Gibbs,
    I had the pleasure of knowing Dorothy as a colleague at Massaoit and as a friend. She enriched our college with her love of music and history. She dedicated much time and effort to her students and to the college community. I value the memories I have of her love of life, her humor, and her wisdom.
    Please accept my sincere condolences.

    Juanita Brunelle

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Folsom Funeral Service

Folsom Funeral Service