In memory of

Dottie Bowman Rollins, age 75 of Helena

July 24, 1941 – July 7, 2017

Dorothy (Dottie) Rollins slipped from her earthbound body on Friday, July 7, 2017, at her home in Helena, Montana, in the company of friends and her beloved dog and cat. Dottie was born July 24, 1941, to Betty and Leonard Anderson. She grew up in Woodstock, Connecticut, and graduated from Woodstock Academy in 1959 and from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1963.

Dottie had many interests and pursued them wherever they led, making friends and picking up stories along the way. She researched education in Ypsilanti, Michigan; milked cows in Butte, Montana; and attended a horseshoeing school in Bozeman, Montana, where she later worked as an artist and blacksmith. She loved the Big Sky Country of Montana and lived in Helena for many years, doing photography and a weekly gardening column for the Queen City News.

During her life she also studied Benedictine spirituality, the teachings of Buddhism, Hospice principles, natural horsemanship and the ways of nature as she continually strived to understand the many facets of people in need as well as her own spirit. Creativity came easily to Dottie, who applied her talent and intention to a variety of arts including crochet, knitting, sewing, blacksmithing, drawing, poetry, basket weaving and writing. Those in possession of the result of these efforts are truly blessed.

In 1982 she participated in the Run for Peace which crossed the country to raise money for a farming exchange between the U.S. and Russia. Wherever she went, Dottie’s actions supported her commitment to building a better world, whether in the South supporting minorities and migrants, or in Montana working for peace and justice. Dottie was also an avid reader.

Her quirky sense of humor and adventurous, enthusiastic, and fun-loving nature helped

Dottie make friends easily. In recent years, many of those friends were children. Dottie loved the students she worked with as a volunteer with the Helena Public Schools, first as a greeter at Helena Middle School and then as a classroom aide at Smith School, where she worked with kindergartners through second graders.

Dottie relished time outdoors and hiking with her dogs: first Thumbelina, later Sasha, and most recently Bennie. She loved music and rarely missed a performance of the Metropolitan Opera shown live at Cinemark in Helena; she also faithfully attended performances of the Helena Symphony, Shakespeare in the Parks, Grand Street Theatre and Symphony Under the Stars.

Dottie is survived by her sister, Margaret Anderson, of Woodstock, Connecticut; her niece, Tiffany Reevior, and her husband, Jim, and son, Daniel, of Medford, Massachusetts; her nephew, John Refior, of Waltham, MA; and cousins in the East and the West. She will be sorely missed by a wide circle of friends in Helena and other parts of the country as well as her dog, Bennie, and cat, Mellie.

A heartfelt thank you to Dottie’s family and community during her short illness. Her neighbors at Aspen Village were wonderful as were her village of friends. Many of the caregivers from Home Instead were gems during this time as well as those at Big Sky Care Center and St. Peter’s Hospice.

Memorials in Dottie’s name may be sent to the Montana Horse Sanctuary or the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center. Please see below to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Dottie.


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  1. Dottie, Sasha, and Mellie were my neighbors for a while on Benton Ave. she was a great neighbor. I enjoyed our time together.

  2. richard p donovan says:

    wow! what a life!!! adventures in the service of others in need.

  3. Nancy Foley Young says:

    To the family of Dottie Bowman Rollins. My family sends their deepest sympathy to you. Our thoughts and prayers goes out to you. Isaiah 25:8.

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