Dorathea Janssen Chisholm McCutcheon, age 96, of Lakeland, Florida passed away on Monday, April 18, 2022.
Dorathea was with her son, daughter, and granddaughter at her daughter’s home at the time of her passing. Dorathea was born July 13, 1924, in Winter Haven, Florida to John William Janssen and Corrie Dodson, the third of five daughters. Dorathea graduated from Winter Haven High School, Class of 1942, where she was Valedictorian. She went on to graduate from Greensboro College in Greensboro, NC (1942-1942), and transferred to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC (1944-1946) to study Journalism, graduating with her bachelor’s degree, Phi Beta Kappa. She enjoyed a prolific career as a journalist writing and editing at radio stations WDAE (Tampa), WBTV (Charlotte, NC), WIRC (Hickory, NC) and WONN (Lakeland), as well as for Advance Magazine (New York City), and in public relations at Union Theological Seminary (New York City) and Brooklyn Community College (New York).
After marrying Moody Leon Chisholm in 1952 and moving with him back to Winter Haven, FL, where they settled and had their children, Carol Lynn, and Moody Leon Jr., Dorathea returned to college to earn a second bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education through Florida Southern College, and joyfully taught 5th grade at Carlton Palmore Elementary School from 1968-1992 until she completed her career as Carlton Palmore’s Teacher of the Year and earned Polk County Teacher of the Year. Dorathea was also an accomplished soprano and sang in the University of North Carolina Chorus, Davidson College Chorus, the musical production “Horn in the West” in Boone, NC, and the chorale for the Bach Festival of Central Florida as well as in her church choirs throughout her life, most recently at her cherished church home of College Heights United Methodist.
In her younger years, Dorathea enjoyed tennis, swimming, and basketball and was on UNC’s women’s national champion basketball team. She also found time to volunteer and engage in community activities through many roles in her church, the United Methodist Women’s group, Delta Kappa Gamma Society for Women Educators, the Women’s Club, Tuesday Morning Music Club, Special Olympics, Sun n’ Fun Fly In, and many efforts in support of children’s literacy and peace. Dorathea also enjoyed traveling and was able to see many sights within the US, abroad, and at sea, but loved spending time with family and friends most of all. In her own words, Dorathea reflected “How God has blessed us with interesting lives, useful and satisfying work, valued friends, and wonderful children and grandchildren. Talk about excitement!”
Dorathea was married to Moody Chisholm, Sr. for 53 years. Following his death she married a former WHHS friend, William “Bill” McCutcheon. Dorathea is survived by husband Bill McCutcheon; daughter Lynn Chisholm; son Moody L. Chisholm, Jr.; daughter-in-law Natali Chisholm; grandchildren, Sam Williamson, Ava Williamson, Jess Chisholm and Janssen Chisholm; sister Billie Hutton; and many beloved nieces and nephews.
Services will be held at College Heights United Methodist Church on Thursday, April 21, 2022, at 4 p.m. Condolences may be sent to the family at Heath Funeral Chapel.
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