A longtime educator and community supporter was honored on her 90th birthday when Mayor JB Whitten proclaimed April 17 Catherine Delores Dortch’s Day in Crestview.
Born in Greenville, Alabama, in 1931, she married the late Rev. Claude Von Dortch in 1952. The couple moved to Crestview in 1963, where Mrs. Dortch got her associates of arts degree at Okaloosa Walton Junior College, today’s Northwest Florida State College.
While reading his proclamation, Mayor Whitten cited Mrs. Dortch’s extensive service as an educator and community leader, including:
• Community Head Start teacher,
• Substitute kindergarten teacher,
• Teacher assistant and library assistant for the Okaloosa County Jail adult education program,
• Board member and coordinator for the Family Outreach Program at the Health Rehabilitative Service,
• Childcare provider,
• Served on children’s parent-teacher association boards and school advisory councils in Okaloosa County School District,
• President of Concerned Citizens Group,
• Community involvement president for the American Cancer Society,
• Member of the Order of the Eastern Star,
• Organizer and coordinator of Crestview’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. march,
• Longstanding member of the Evangelistic Outreach Ministries Church of God by Faith, where she sang in the choir, visited the sick, interceded for those in need through prayer, cooked food for the community, provided transportation for families, and
• Impacted the lives of many people in Crestview and the surrounding community.
Mayor Whitten encouraged all residents to follow Mrs. Dortch’s example and to “celebrate the contributions of Mrs. Dortch by continually striving to make a positive difference in the lives of others within the City of Crestview.”