Dorthy “Dottie” Burckart Summers Avery of Virginia Beach, Virginia transitioned from this plane of existence on Monday, April 27, 2020. She is survived by her children Diana (Gene) McDonald, Jackie (Doug) Harris, David (Jeanie) Summers, and Gail (Gary) Phillips, 8 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her spouses, John P (JP) Summers, and Lyman Avery, as well as her 3 siblings, and a grandson. Arrangements made by Altmeyer Funeral Home & Crematory with interment at National Memorial Park & King David Memorial Gardens in Falls Church, Virginia. A private family service will be held in the future. Expressions of sympathy may be made to the Salvation Army or a charity of the donor’s choice.
Dorthy was born in Glenfield, Pennsylvania to Harry and Frances Burckart. Her childhood memories influenced experiences of her own children. She spoke of having chickens growing up. Her memory was “they were mean when you tried to take the eggs from the nest.” In later years, she made sure her children had a little farm experience by providing colored chicks for Easter. Christmas was another memorable time in her early life. Her parents closed the front room a week before Christmas to prepare for Santa. She brought some of that same feeling of Christmas and Santa Claus to her own children by making sure, on Christmas morning, all of the children entered the Christmas room together. Her adult children still believe in Santa.
She enjoyed playing softball and was athletic growing up, especially enjoying softball. Some would call her a tomboy. As she grew older, she enjoyed swimming and golfing. She always encouraged her children to be active. She was an avid Pittsburgh Steelers football fan. Later in life, she adopted the Redskins.
After graduating from Oliver High School in Pittsburgh, PA, at the age of 16, Dorthy began working for Alcoa Aluminum, where she met JP. She continued her working career after her children started school in several businesses in Northern Virginia as an administrative assistant.
She taught Sunday School when her children were young. Dorthy won awards for her flower arranging and later took up doll making. After retirement, she began to travel the world. A great accomplishment in her life was knowing how to be a great friend and helping people she knew who needed extra support.
Boundless gratitude to the wonderful caregivers who have been part of Dorthy’s life these past few years.