AUSTINTOWN, Ohio – Dorothy Jean Schwers, 89 of Austintown died early Wednesday morning, December 20, 2017 at Park Vista Retirement Community.
Dorothy was born on March 4, 1928 in Youngstown, the daughter of the late Russell Pierce Donahue of the first Austintown Fitch graduating class in 1918 and Florence (Baker) Donahue whose family were early settlers of Austintown.
Dorothy graduated from Austintown Fitch High School, Class of 1946 where she sang in the choir and played flute and piccolo under the school’s first band director, Mr. A.G. Snell, who she would later work for as principal of Frank Ohl Middle School.
Dorothy went on to attend the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music in 1950. While performing in the Youngstown State college orchestra, she met and married William George Schwers of Youngstown on December 29, 1951. She received her Master’s Degree in Piano Performance from Kent State University in 1980.
Dorothy taught vocal music and choir in the Austintown Public Schools (Frank Ohl and Austintown Middle) for nearly 37 years until her retirement in 1993. She served as music director for Mineral Ridge Christian Church where she was a life-long member.
She was a member of the Youngstown State University Sigma Alpha Iota (SAI) music Sorority for Women and was later elected President for the Ohio Provence. While Dorothy was the Province Officer, she helped start chapters of Sigma Alpha Iota at The Ohio State University and Muskingum College. In 2001, Dorothy was named YWCA Woman of the Year, culminating her life long career as an outstanding educator and leader in the Austintown Community who deeply touched the lives of everyone who knew her. She was also a member of Delta Kappa Gamma – International Society of Outstanding Women Educators, National Womens’ book of Who’s Who, American Federation of Teachers, Austintown Retired Teacher’s Association and the Youngstown Music Teachers Association.
She leaves two sons, Russell A. (Marianne) Schwers of Hollis, New Hampshire and William A. (Carol) Schwers of Naperville, Illinois and three grandchildren, Ryan Schwers, Alexa Schwers and Michael Schwers.
Besides her parents, Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband, William G. Schwers; her stepmother, Donabelle, who raised Dorothy as an infant after the death of her birth mother; a sister, Marilyn Wheaton and a grandson, Jerry Schwers.
Friends may call on Friday, December 29 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m and on Saturday, December 30 from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. followed by the funeral service at 11:00 a.m. at Lane Family Funeral Homes, 5797 Mahoning Avenue, Austintown Chapel
Family and friends may send condolences at www.lanefuneralhomes.com.
A television tribute will air Monday, December 25 at the following approximate times:
6:41 a.m. WYTV and 8:41 a.m. MyYTV and 9:58 a.m. on FOX plus two additional spots throughout the day.