Obituary: Doris Jean Dewton
1947 — 2021
Doris Jean Dewton, of Edwards, passed away on July 22, 2021, after a courageous fight with cancer. Doris is survived by her sister Elizabeth Cordaro (John Cordaro) of Reston, Virginia; her niece, Susan Cordaro (Sean Desmond and their child Daniel Desmond) of Brooklyn, New York; and nephews Greg Cordaro of Miami, Florida, and Mike Cordaro (Erica Cordaro and their child Holly Cordaro) of Fairway, Kansas, as well as her stepchildren and stepgrandchildren. Her husband of 34 years, and love of her life, Richard W. Gretz, preceded her in death in 2019.
Doris was born in 1947 in Washington, D.C., to Johannes and Hedwig Dewton, who immigrated to the U.S. from Austria. Doris grew up in Arlington, Virginia, and played several sports at Wakefield High School, where she was the valedictorian of her graduating class. She attended Bryn Mawr College, graduating in 1969 with a cum laude degree in political science. She went on to earn a M.A. in Latin American studies from the University of Texas at Austin, with a National Defense Education Act Fellowship.
Before retiring, Doris worked for 11 years for the U.S. Department of Energy, 10 years for Ashland Oil, and three years for the National Petroleum Refiners’ Association in Washington, D.C. After moving to Eagle County in 1994, Doris worked part time in the winters for Beaver Creek Ski School in product sales and service.
As an active member of the Vail Valley community, Doris dedicated her post-retirement life to various community and philanthropic endeavors, for which she was recognized by the Vail Valley Foundation as the 2010 Ernie Bender Volunteer of the Year. She was elected to the Colorado Mountain College board of trustees in 2001 and re-elected to a second term in 2005, serving as board president for six years. She also served on the CMC Foundation board as a director, chairing the local Eagle County HERO scholarship committee that provides financial awards for students at CMC Vail Valley in Edwards, serving as the chair of the CMC Foundation Board Scholarship Committee, and as vice chair of the foundation board.
Scholarship work is rewarding, she said, because CMC staff works closely with recipients to ensure their success.
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“People have dreams who don’t always have means,” she said, adding that scholarships and academic support make a big difference in how those dreams turn out. “I became convinced of the good work of CMC, and the reality of the situation of local people trying to go to college while working, which has only become more intense.”
Doris also served one year on the National Association of Community College trustees board as director-at-large from the Western Region, and she served on the Governance and By-laws Committee.
Doris dedicated seven years (1994-2002) as president of the Singletree Property Owner’s Association, and was appointed to serve as a representative to the Upper Eagle Regional Water Authority, the water provider for many communities in Eagle County, Colorado. She served as president of that group from 2008 to 2010, and engaged in complex negotiations impacting the water supply for approximately 30,000 residents.
For six years, Doris was a devoted member of the board of the Vail Symposium, a local nonprofit that provides educational programming for the public, including as a member on their advisory council. She volunteered for the Vail Valley Foundation for many events each year, ranging from the World Cup ski races and the American Ski Classic, and ushered for the Vail Valley Music Festival and the Vilar Performing Arts Center.
An avid skier, golfer, tennis player and hiker, Doris served in various capacities in Vail Club 50, including two years as president. She also served on the Citizen’s Advisory Council and the Capital Campaign Committee of the Castle Peak Senior Care Community.
Doris met her husband, Dick, on a ski trip in Canada in 1984. They spent their years together enjoying world travel, welcoming friends and family to their home, with a shared love of music and active excursions. A voracious reader, Doris also somehow found time to participate in several local book clubs and a French conversational group.
Doris was 74 years old. A celebration of her extraordinary life will be scheduled.