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Thursday, July 6, 2017
Dr. Dorothy Toffolo Passes Away
Dr. Dorothy von Wald ToffoloDorothy Virginia von Wald Toffolo, of Davidsonville passed away on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017, at Sacred Heart Home in Hyattsville, Maryland, at the age of 98. Born in Brookings, South Dakota, on October 2, 1918, Dr. Toffolo grew up in South Dakota where her father was in the grain elevator business. Her parents were Catherine Estelle Thorn of Washington, D.C. and Walter John Anthony von Wald of Sauk City, Wisconsin.
Dorothy's family moved to Washington, D.C. in 1938, the city where her mother had grown up as part of a large family. Dr. Toffolo attended the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minnesota, and graduated from George Washington University with a degree in home economics. After World War II, Dorothy married Dominic Toffolo of Detroit, Michigan, an electrical engineer and later a physicist, at St. Anthony's Church in Washington, D.C. Dot and Nick (or Dom as he was called among his family) raised four children: Christopher Dominic Toffolo, Regina Estelle Toffolo Barletta, Walter Anthony (Tony) Toffolo, and Mary Elizabeth (Betsy) Toffolo-Cresce. Dorothy was an at-home mom for about 20 years.
She was always well known for her delicious cooking and beautiful hand-made clothes. Dorothy went back to work as a home economics teacher at La Reine High School in Suitland, Maryland, and later at Walker Mill Middle School. As a teacher, Dorothy conducted fashion shows, kept sewing machines repaired, and maintained an immaculate kitchen. The aroma of the cooking wafted out of the home economics department where Dorothy's daughter, Regina, who attended La Reine, had the privilege of sampling the cooking.
The rest of the family thoroughly enjoyed the leftovers that Mom brought home. In addition, Dorothy was an excellent artist. She left many examples of her art work in the form of drawings, paintings, and hand painted china, trays, and furniture.Dorothy was also very devoted to the Church.
She attended daily Mass for much of her life. She was a member of the Catholic Daughters of America and the Sodality, and she also served many years as a Eucharistic Minister. As part of her ongoing education as a teacher, Dorothy earned a master's degree at Bowie State University in family counseling. She then decided to stop teaching to study full time in a doctoral program in human development at the University of Maryland-College Park.
She earned her Ph.D. at the age of 69. Dorothy then went on to pass the Maryland state licensing examination in clinical psychology at 70. Dr. Toffolo continued her practice in family as well as other types of therapy until she was nearly 90. Survivors include her children as well as eight grandchildren: Katie Toffolo, Dominic, David, and Patrick Barletta, and Arthur, Vincent, Nicole, and Lisa Cresce.
Friends are invited to celebrate Dorothy's life on Friday, January 20 from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 pm at the George P. Kalas Funeral Home, 2973 Solomons Island Rd., Edgewater, MD. Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Saturday, January 21 at 10:30 am at Holy Family Catholic Church, 826 W. Central Ave., Davidsonville, MD. Interment Resurrection Cemetery in Clinton, MD.