In Memory of




Obituary for Dorothy Angeline Mellenthin

Surrounded by her loving family, Dorothy A. Mellenthin died peacefully on January 22, 2022, in Hood River, Or. She was 98 years old.

The daughter of Ted and Ola Hackett and a life-long resident of Hood River, Dorothy’s life was shaped by the beauty and rural nature of Mt Hood, the Columbia River and the Hood River Valley. She shared a happy childhood with her parents and her sister, Virginia Hackett Keller, who died in 2009. A favorite memory of growing up was her climb to the top of Mt Hood at the tender age of 16. She especially loved her trips to Lost Lake which she took throughout her life. Dorothy graduated from Hood River High School and married her high school sweetheart, Pat Evans, in 1942. Her first child, Judy, was born a year later. Tragically, Pat, a Marine during WW ll, lost his life in the invasion of Guam.

Following the War, Dorothy met and married Walter Mellenthin and lived at Oregon State University’s Mid-Columbia Experiment Station in Hood River, where Walt was the Superintendent. An avid gardener, Dorothy tended a large yard and flower garden while raising Judy and two more daughters, Kay and Jan. Her love of flowers filled her home and her stunning flower arrangements accounted for many blue ribbons at the Hood River County Fair. She relished Springtime in Hood River when the view out her windows was a carpet of fruit blossoms. Ever on the move, Dorothy was a skilled homemaker and a leader of girls through Blue Birds and multiple 4-H activities that focused on cooking and sewing. Her apple pies were the envy of all.

Through Walt’s work trips with OSU, Dorothy became a world-wide traveler, visiting multiple countries on all continents except Antarctica. Traveling brought her great joy and fed her adventurous and inquisitive nature. If you mentioned a country, she could often recall a story or memorable moment of being there and the wonderful new people she met.

Later in life, Dorothy developed a love of painting with pastels and watercolors and took classes that produced many, much-loved works of art. She loved to dance and along with Walt, enjoyed membership in local dance clubs. As empty nesters, she and Walt took up sailboat racing on the Columbia River in their boat Walt nicknamed “Fat Albert”. They became snowbirds with several yearly trips to Arizona and moved there briefly in mid-1990s, only to return to Hood River shortly thereafter.

Dorothy and Walt’s 53 years of marriage ended with Walt’s death in 1999. Dorothy purchased a condo in Hood River that looked at her beloved Mt Hood and lived independently for several years until she and her long-time family friend, Ray Gaulke, became engaged. Ray and Dorothy had a loving relationship, traveled together and had a happy life until Ray’s passing in 2015.

Dorothy was blessed with an overarching ability to love and care for others. Being comfortable with herself, she could make others feel at home and welcomed. She was truly interested in people’s stories and listened carefully, asked pertinent questions and always maintained a positive and open attitude. Dorothy could engage almost anyone and make them her friend. Even as macular degeneration robbed her of most of her sight in her later years, Dorothy’s sunny disposition and interest in life shined through. She had a wide circle of friends and was a member of the Riverside Community Church.

Dorothy is survived by her daughters Judy Gaulke and husband Mike Gaulke, Kay Mellenthin and husband Clark Compton, Jan Mellenthin and partner Norm Hobson; granddaughters Maija Wade and husband Brian Wade, Laurel Gunderson and husband Shasta Towler, Kirstin Gunderson and wife Jenni Scott; great-grandchildren Marshall, Ryker, Jackson and Anessa.

Tributes to Dorothy’s life may be left on;

A memorial service in Dorothy’s honor will be scheduled and announced in the Spring when the Hood River blossoms display their glory.

Celebration of Life and Reception will be 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 19th, 2022 Riverside Community Church (317 State Street, Hood River, Oregon 97031). A private committal service will follow at Idlewilde Mausoleum.

The family suggests memorials to Oregon Public Broadcasting in lieu of flowers.

Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson's Tribute Center (Funerals • Receptions • Cremations) 1401 Belmont Avenue, Hood River, Oregon 97031.

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