Dorothy Clark Esseks of Aquebogue died on Sept. 7, 2017, just a month shy of 83 years old. Dorothy was a teacher and community leader in Riverhead for 58 years.
Dorothy and her husband, William W. Esseks, moved to Riverhead in 1959 when Dorothy started teaching kindergarten in the Riverhead public schools and Bill joined the Griffing, Smith & Tasker law firm. When she had her first child, Katherine, in 1961, Dorothy retired from teaching to devote herself to her family and the community. Twin sons, David and James, arrived in 1965.
Dorothy’s community service spanned several decades. In the 1960s, she was an active member of and then president of the local chapter of the League of Women Voters. From 1970 through 1985, Dorothy was a member of the school board of the Riverhead Central School District and helped the district through some trying fiscal situations. In the late 1980s through early 1990s, Dorothy was a member of the board of the Suffolk County Historical Society. She was also a member of the Riverhead Women’s Club and served time as president of her local property owners association.
Born Dorothy Ann Clark, she grew up in Palisade, N.J., and then Lakeview in Nassau County. Her father was in charge of developing new flavors for the Borden Ice Cream Company, and Dorothy loved testing out his creations. Her mother worked as a sales clerk at a department store.
Dorothy graduated second in the Class of 1952 at Malverne High School and entered Oberlin College that fall, where she met Bill. She earned a degree in early childhood education in 1956 and then taught kindergarten in Lawrence, N.Y., while Bill attended law school at New York University.
Dorothy was always interested in the arts, especially dance and painting. In her later years, she created artwork in pastel and watercolor. She and Bill were also avid dancers, whirling each other across dance floors all around the world on their travels.
Dorothy is survived by her husband, Bill; her daughter, Katherine; her son David, his wife, Katy Stokes, and their children, Will and Eloise and her son James and his husband, Rob Ornstein.
Donations in her memory can be made to East End Arts.
A memorial service will be held in late October. For more information, please call Annabelle Fucci at 516-885-5970.
This is a paid notice.