Dorothy “Dede” Kondolf Guinan passed away Nov 3, 2022 at age 94.
Dorothy was born in Rochester, New York, in 1928 to August and Martha VanCaeseele Her family had immigrated from Belgium and purchased a farm in Farmington, New York. They grew celery, onions, and potatoes in the rich muck soil. The deep downturn in the US during the great depression prompted their return to Belgium to live for several years. Dorothy was school-age by the time they returned to the farm. She did not speak English when she started school in a one-room schoolhouse on Rte 96. Her years on the farm were filled with hard work, weeding onions, her horse, and her family. She loved the woods and the wildflowers and swam in every ‘puddle and pond.’ That love of nature followed her throughout her life. Dorothy was an excellent student, loved music, played the flute, and loved to draw. She graduated from Victor High School and the University of Rochester with a degree in Nursing. She had a lifelong sense of pride and love for nursing and the University of Rochester.
Dorothy worked as a hospital nurse until she married Richard Kondolf in 1951. They raised 3 children together, Jenny, Mike, and Jim. They purchased a big, beautiful old house on Main Street in Victor in the early 1960s. She remained there for over 60 years. The tumultuous decade of the sixties and life’s struggles drew her even closer to her beloved family. Her sister Elizabeth and brother Dick were a constant support and her best friends. They celebrated, cried, laughed, vacationed, and partied together. Summer vacations on Canandaigua Lake with 6 adults, 10 children, 2 dachshunds, and 1 poodle were joyful times for all. It was during these years that she developed a love of antiques. Dorothy curated and collected many beautiful antiques, decorating her home with her unique finds. Eventually, encouraged by her sister, she became a dealer selling at local shows. Dorothy always had a good eye and a sense of style and design. She loved American primitives, oriental rugs, fine art, and of course, her spectacular old iron bank collection.
It was during this time also that Dorothy went back to school. She pursued and achieved her master’s degree in education as a school nurse teacher. She went to work for Pittsford schools and remained as the nurse at Barker Rd middle school, until she retired. She loved her work as a school nurse and health teacher, making many lifelong friends.
Dorothy married Bobby Guinan when she was in her 60s. They enjoyed life and love to the fullest with many friends, world travels, playing bridge, going to auctions, walking in the mall, swimming, and lake life at the cottage. In the late afternoon, they enjoyed a glass of wine or cocktail, crackers, cheese, and stories of the day often shared with friends, family, and a cozy fire in the kitchen fireplace.
Dorothy was always gracious and inspired others in the ways she lived her life. She was grateful for each day, having known hardship herself. Her forthright honesty could be humorous as well as humbling. Her optimism was infectious—she consoled the evening worries with “don’t worry, it will look better in the morning,” and it usually did. She greeted all with her beautiful smile and never turned down a good piece of Belgium chocolate, a chance to dance or hold hands with Bobby.
Dorothy is survived by her daughter Jennifer (Joe) Duba, son James (Beverly) Kondolf, stepdaughter Ann (Donald) Dunham, 7 grandchildren, Scarlet Duba, Jasper (Layne) Duba, Kate Kondolf, Carly (Chad) Gepfrey, Angel (Kelly) Collazo, Kirstin Teall, and Hannah Kondolf, 4 step-grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren, and her much-loved nieces. She was predeceased by her husband, Robert Guinan, sister Elizabeth Brady, brother Richard VanCaeseele, nephew Paul Brady and son Mathias Kondolf.
Calling Hours will be at Jarmusz Cotton Funeral Home in Victor, NY, on November 13 from 3-5 pm
A memorial Mass will be held at St. Patricks Church, Maple Ave Victor, New York, on Monday, November 14, at 10 am, followed by a burial at St Patricks Cemetery. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Alzheimer Association or Canandaigua Emergency Squad (233 North Pearl St. Canandaigua, NY 14424) in her memory.