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Dorothy Lester Fogg

July 7, 1923 ~ July 6, 2022 (age 98)


Dorothy Lester Fogg peacefully passed away on July 6, 2022.  Born Dorothy Lillian Lester on July 7, 1923, in Wilmerding Pennsylvania, Dorothy was the eldest child of the late John, Sr. and Lillie (Holmes) Lester.  Her birth was followed by that of her late siblings: Evelyn Lester Bell; John, Jr.; Alvin Lester; Oscar Lester, and Donald Lester.  At an early age, Dorothy accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior, and became a member of St. John Baptist Church in Wilmerding.  Dorothy was a precocious child who learned to read at an early age and remained a voracious reader throughout her life.  She started school early and graduated from Wilmerding High School.  

Following high school, Dorothy enrolled in Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) where she met her life partner, Wilbert Clinton Fogg of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Dorothy graduated from Hampton in 1943 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting.  Dorothy and Wilbert married on August 23, 1943, and moved to New Haven, Connecticut.  

In Connecticut, Dorothy and Wilbert became active members of Community Baptist Church of New Haven.  After years of saving and with the help of church friends and a network of artisans, they built a house in Bethany, a small rural town outside of New Haven, in which the Fogg family grew and flourished.  Together, they had four children: Cathryn Fogg-Suggs of McLean Virginia; the late Jeanne Fogg Lovell; Wayne Fogg of Wallingford, Connecticut, and Leslie Fogg Bowie of Silver Spring, Maryland.  

Dorothy was an active member in the Bethany community, supporting the local schools, political issues, and elections.  She ran the Parent Teacher Association Book Fair for many years.  Through the 4-H Organization, Dorothy created the Bethany Marching Fife and Drum Corp teaching children from five to fifteen the music, history, and dress of colonial military bands.  In the late 1960’s Wilbert and Dorothy were instrumental in organizing Bethany’s African American families.  Together they worked with the school system to ensure African American history was included in the curriculum.  They were also vocal supporters of an initiative that allowed students from lower performing New Haven schools to attend school in Bethany.  When the school board decided to end the program, Dorothy wrote several newspaper editorials which resulted in a discrimination investigation conducted by the state.   

Although primarily focused on raising the children, Dorothy periodically worked part-time secretarial and bookkeeping jobs until her youngest, Leslie, started school.  Dorothy was ecstatic to get a position as an accountant in the Southern Connecticut State College administrative offices.  Not only was she finally using her accounting degree but the job came with educational benefits.  Dorothy took advantage of those benefits and in 1978 earned a Master of Science Degree in Urban Studies. 

Dorothy read everything she could get her hands on.  For Dorothy, reading was the doorway to everything: news, literature, culture, and new skills.  A woman of words, she was a stickler for grammar, pronunciation, and spelling.  She could get quite competitive when playing Scrabble!  When she wasn’t reading, Dorothy was making things.  She would write books for the children in the family; collect recipes and ingredients around a theme for Christmas gifts, or make tote bags, blankets, or pillows out of old favored garments.  She also loved music and taught herself how to play the organ and the guitar.  

By 1991, Dorothy and Wilbert had completed their goal of putting their four children through college.  It was time to fulfill their dream of retiring to the ancestral Fogg land in Madison, Virginia.  They built their retirement home and Dorothy enjoyed rural living.  She continued reading anything she could get her hands on as she watched deer, wild turkeys and pheasants cross the yard.   They lived comfortably in Madison until Wilbert’s passing in 2009.  Shortly thereafter, Dorothy was diagnosed with dementia.  Although remote, Dorothy wanted to remain in Madison and with the assistance of caregivers, Dorothy continued to live independently for several years.  In 2016, Dorothy moved to Angel’s Garden, an assisted living group home in Silver Spring, Maryland where she benefited from their loving and individualized care.  The Jewish Social Services Association also provided hospice support in her last months.  

On the morning of July 6, 2022 – one day before her 99th birthday – God whispered in Dorothy’s ear and quietly called her home.  In addition to her surviving children, Dorothy leaves to cherish her memory: sons-in-law Terry Bowie, Sr. and Scott Lovell; daughter-in-law Karen Lankford; grandchildren  Chevaun Demesme, Terry Bowie, Jr., Austin Bowie , and Jason Bowie; great-granddaughter Serena Demesme; multiple generations of nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.       

A graveside memorial service for Dorothy will be held in Madison, Virginia at a time to be determined. 

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate the purchase of a tree in remembrance of Dorothy Lester Fogg. 

The family of the late Dorothy Lester Fogg wishes to express its sincere thanks and gratitude for your prayers, calls, and acts of kindness during this time of bereavement.  Our spirits have been lifted because of your compassion. 



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