Dorothy Vivian Childs, 73, died peacefully on December 3, 2021, surrounded by family and friends.
Better known by her nicknames, which included Dot, Dot-Dot, and Dot-Mom, Dorothy inspired everyone around her with her intelligence, kindness, and wit. She was most proud of her accomplishments in the three areas where she most excelled – as mother, teacher, and friend.
As a mother, Dot was attentive and devoted, sharing her love of learning, her passion for life, and her motto –” speak gently; touch softly; be kind.” As a teacher, she spent more than two decades introducing students to English literature, as well as helping them tap into their own distinctive voices, powers of perspective, and sources of strength. As a friend, she was a steadfast source of compassion, honesty, and humor, nurturing relationships that lasted decades and making new friends from even the most casual acquaintances.
Dot was equal parts researcher and raconteur, just as comfortable reclining with a book as she was swapping stories in the grocery checkout line. After she retired from teaching, she spent time as an educational consultant, caregiver, and writing teacher, as well as volunteering as a tutor, Friend of the Tennessee Libraries, and dramaturg for her daughter’s theater company. Blessed with many siblings, Dot was a loving sister and an auntie to generations of nieces and nephews. Late in life, she discovered a passion for travel and toured the country by bus, train, and ship to visit her far-flung network of family and friends.
Dot loved gospel and roots music, Southern Appalachian culture, mystery novels, and coconut cake – though any cake would do in a pinch. She collected beautiful and interesting rocks from her travels and gladly accepted them as gifts from family and friends. She was always elegantly dressed, whether in a crisp professional outfit or one of her many sets of matching pajamas. Her favorite animal was the turtle.
Dot is preceded in death by her parents, Jesse Wayne Childs, Sr., and Oma Kate Hicks Childs, and her siblings Mary Ruth Gober and George Thomas Childs.
She is survived by her daughter, Allison Olivia Choat; her siblings Margaret Ann Cody, Jesse Wayne Childs, Jr., Nora Long, Marilyn Donatelli, Carolyn Howard, Christy Milam, and Warren Anderson Childs; her best friend of fifty-six years Rebecca Foster, and dear friend and housemate Martha Michener, as well as countless other friends.
The family would like to thank the wonderful caregiving team at Roane County Medical Center and Dot’s primary care medical team for their expertise and kindness in supporting Dot’s health and helping her to finish her life with grace and peace.
A celebration of Dot’s life will be held at Kyker Funeral Home in Kingston, located at 350 West Race Street, on Sunday, January 23, at 1:00 pm, with a private family funeral service to follow. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to a cause dear to Dot, such as the Florence Crittenton Agency of Knoxville, the Friends of Tennessee Libraries, the Oxford American, or the Southern Poverty Law Center. Kyker Funeral Home of Kingston is serving the Childs Family.