Dorothy Estes, R.I.P.

Aunt Dot and yours truly (in the football shirt)

Yesterday, in the earliest hours of the morning, another of my great aunts, Dorothy Estes, passed away. Aunt Dot, as we all called her, was the sister of my grandmother, and an integral part of my extended family in the Knoxville, Tennessee area.

Born on April 16, 1925, she was the eldest of three sisters. She married the late Johnny Estes and moved around Tennessee as she accompanied her husband to several pastorates. They settled in Maryville, TN (pronounced “Murvull” by those who know better) in the mid 1950s, where they built themselves into the community. Aunt Dot raised three sons, survived the death of her oldest child, and raised one grandchild.

My knowledge of Aunt Dot was limited to the sporadic family gatherings that occur when relatives are dispersed across distance. One thing that was made clear from the times I spent with her was that she loved to laugh. She was a kind woman whose love of Christ was evident, and whatever peace that our Lord gave her made her laugh quite a bit.

She wore large, thick glasses that often hid the care with which she listened to those she loved. Her voice was warm, distinct, and memorable. I recall one time when she was talking about a new road that allowed her a shorter drive to her sister’s house. “That Pellisippi Parkway, it’s a blessing,” she said. To this day, whenever I drive on that road, I remember Aunt Dot’s vibrant enthusiasm about a road. She was the type of woman who saw a road as a blessing from God.

Aunt Dot will be dearly missed, but the fruit of her life lives on in those of us whom she held dear.