Dorothy Irene Utley, a longtime resident of Tifton GA, died at home on Wednesday, October 17, 2018.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, October 20, 2018, at 4:00 P.M. in the First United Methodist Church of Tifton with Rev. Robbie Paulk officiating. Dr. Wayne Hanna will deliver the eulogy. The family will receive friends immediately following the service in the front lobby of the church. A private family interment will be held later in the day at Zion Hope Baptist Church cemetery.
Born in Wayne City Illinois in 1940 to Albert and Grace Lathrop, Dot was the sixth of seven children. As a child, she was responsible for the daily milking of her father’s dairy herd. She graduated from milking cows to earning her Bachelor’s Degree from Southern Illinois University in Education. While in Carbondale as a student, she met and married Philip Utley. Together, Phil and Dot had three sons, Scott, Shawn, and Sam. All three boys are married. Scott and Tonya Utley have two boys, Boone and Jasper and reside in Tifton. Shawn and Melisa Utley have a son and daughter, Nick and Katie, and also reside in Tifton. Sam and his wife Barb live in Providence Utah and have two sons, Rhett and KJ.
Dot taught school in Carbondale, Columbia Missouri, and Lexington Kentucky, working while Phil attended graduate school. Upon earning his PhD from the University of Kentucky, Phil and Dot moved to Tifton Ga where he worked at the UGA Coastal Plains Experiment Station and she taught in the Tift County School System.
Although her formal training was in education, her greatest talents were those of being a mother, a grandmother, a wife, and a friend to all. She was a professional entertainer when it came to hosting holiday gatherings, special events, and even the weekly Sunday family dinners. She was also an original picker. She loved to collect many different things and she frequented antique and gift stores regularly to look to add to her collections. She had a very giving nature and always wanted to help others. Until her sickness, she was active and faithful at First United Methodist Church of Tifton, where she was a member.
Dot was preceded in death by her husband of over 50 years, Dr. Philip R. Utley, as well as two brothers, Jimmy and Bill. Her sibling survivors are Bonnie and Ivan Holler of Fairfield Illinois, Barbara and Bob Bolton of Fairfield Illinois, Betty Porter of St. Louis MO, Bob and Doretta Lathrop of Sterling Illinois, and one sister-in-law, Trixie Lathrop of Wayne City Illinois as well as her husband’s brother and sister-in-law, Jim and Nancy Utley of Albion Illinois.
Donations may be made to The Foundations of Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, 4089 Val Tech Road, Valdosta, GA 31602 or online at www.wiregrass.edu.
Albritton Funeral Directors is in charge of the arrangements.