Dorothy Sikes Almquist
Birth Date: March 7, 1929
Death Date: July 19, 2017
Dorothy “Dottie” Almquist, 88, a fierce beacon of love and fortitude, passed away peacefully on July 19, 2017, in Fairfield, California, surrounded by family. She was known for making a bold and stylish splash everywhere she went, frequently launching into song to punctuate a cherished moment. She graced everyone she encountered—even the wild neighborhood peacocks—with a wide and welcoming smile, infectious laughter, and playful banter.
Dottie was born March 7, 1929 (“the year of The Great Depression,” she often proclaimed), in Oak Park, Illinois to Colonel Alfred Sikes and Nora Sikes. Along with her older brother George, she was raised among principled intellectuals who were passionately engaged in social justice. This influenced her lifelong concern for others and dedication to making positive changes in the world.
As a child she showed determination and resilience while bedridden for a year recovering from scarlet fever. She acquired a thirst for reading and appreciation for the power of the written word to convey new perspectives. Her irrepressible spirit became a recurring theme throughout her life.
Putting her compassion into action, she attended University of the Incarnate Word and Santa Rosa School of Nursing in San Antonio, Texas from 1948-1950 where her love story began. She met young Air Force Instructor Pilot Adolph “Gus” Almquist on a blind date, and immediately they knew they were right for each other. Soon after, Gus was transferred two hundred miles away, so he courted her by airplane, making the return flight several times weekly. After three months, they married on October 15, 1950, and proceeded to go the extra mile together for the next 67 years.
Dottie’s nurturing devotion to her family was undeniable. She led the military wife’s life of moving from base to base with four daughters in tow. Without hesitation she made sacrifices along the way, embracing her roles.
When paralyzed by a stroke at age 27, she rose to the challenge with a heroic life spirit. She would say, “I’m going to do as much as I can for as long as I can.” Through her challenges she gained a deep empathy for those who suffered from illness or pain.
She was truly a “witness for God” as her commitment to community outreach and message of unconditional love and acceptance guided her actions. She fearlessly defended those treated poorly and believed all are children of God. She reached out beyond boundaries of race, religion, financial status, and sexual orientation as she fed the homeless, visited hospitals and jails, and sponsored children through programs such as Mission Solano Rescue, Compassion in Jesus’ Name, and Mentoring Outreach.
Dottie enthusiastically held several offices in the United Methodist Church in both Alamo and Fairfield, and was awarded the Honorary Pin for her generous service. She served as Phone Chairperson for the women’s fellowship circle in Alamo, as well as Neighborhood Chairperson. She volunteered countless hours at the Danville Thrift Station, prepared devotional programs for The Women’s Circle, and folded weekly bulletins for the Sunday church services (with the use of only one hand). She chaired and hosted monthly fellowship with The Susanna Circle for many years and was adored and admired by the women who attended.
She was a remarkable woman blessed with a long life lived well, and a voracious appetite for living, always with room for another guest at her table. Her ability to face and overcome adversity continues to be an inspiration to all.
Dottie is survived by her devoted husband and caregiver Gus, and their four daughters, Marty (Larry), Suzun (Richard), Ellie (Randy), and Karen (Wendy). She is preceded in death by her parents and beloved brother, George. She will forever be alive in her family’s hearts, and in their love for each other.
A celebration of life will be held at 11 am on Saturday, August 26, 2017, at the Community United Methodist Church, 1875 Fairfield Ave, Fairfield, California.
In honor of Dottie, keep reaching out in love—to everyone.