Dolores DeGraaf

Dolores E. DeGraaf

Monday, January 20th, 1947 - Friday, August 28th, 2020
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CAMDEN - Dolores E. DeGraaf slipped away quietly on August 28, 2020 after a long valiant struggle with Parkinson’s Disease.

Dolores was born on January 20, 1947 in Havre de Grace, MD, the third daughter of the late James and Helen Tiffany. She grew up in Aberdeen, MD, and graduated from Aberdeen High School in 1965. She met her future husband, Dick, on a blind date to go water skiing. They never left each other’s side for nearly 53 years of marriage. They soon moved to Amherst, MA where Dolores graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Massachusetts in 1974. She then taught English at Amherst Pelham Regional Middle and High Schools. A demanding yet beloved teacher, she retired in 1998 and then taught at St. Patrick’s School in Chicopee, MA for 5 years. She received the Western Mass. Literary Award for her efforts there, a high honor indeed. After her second teaching position, Dolores taught adult literacy in Belchertown, MA.

Dolores helped restore their 1802 Belchertown home. She enjoyed cooking, baking, hiking, canoeing, cross-country skiing, gardening, their dogs, and travel. She especially loved watching her son Dana’s high school and college sporting events. Dolores was an extraordinary and beloved wife, mother, and mother-in-law.

In 2007, Dolores and Dick moved to Camden, ME in 2007. Two months later, she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

Dolores is survived by her husband Dick of Camden, ME, Dana and Colby Wells DeGraaf of Breckenridge, CO, and sisters Barbara Davis and family of Rising Sun, MD, and Harriet Cokely and family of Los Angeles, CA.

Dolores positively impacted this world by helping and inspiring others. In her memory, please reflect on the blessings we have and consider donating to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (
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Jim and Cindy Wentworth

Posted at 07:50am
Dick - We're so sorry to learn about Dolores's passing. Our thoughts are with you and your family in this difficult time.

Jim and Cindy Wentworth

Karen O'Connor

Posted at 04:34pm
Mrs. DeGraaf was a wonderful teacher who inspired her (many) students; I was privileged to have her as a teacher at ARHS. She was engaging and challenging and kind, and I have many fond memories of her classes, the books she assigned us to read, and the discussions we had with her guidance. I'm so sorry that she is no longer with you; please know that her memory is carried by many of us, and that we're so grateful for (and still carry) what she taught us.


Elissa Rubinstein

Posted at 06:40pm
I was saddened to learn of Dolores' death in today's Daily Hampshire Gazette (Amherst, MA). Dolores and I were fellow teachers in the then Amherst Junior High School English department for many years. Her level of dedication to her craft was very high. She made a point of visiting various colleagues' classrooms to learn new practices and approaches. Her written observations of my classroom were some of the most helpful comments I ever received! She showed the same level of professionalism with her students. On a personal note, I will never forget the surprise baby shower she organized for me at her home. I will continue to remember Dolores as a vital and caring person. Elissa Rubinstein

Leah Gregg

Posted at 04:51pm
I am so sorry to hear of her passing. I had her for 9th grade English at ARHS and she was a wonderful and involved teacher. Prayers for the family, May she Rest in Peace. Leah Gregg

Linda Cahillane

Posted at 02:37pm
Dick, I'm so sorry to hear of your wife's passing. My deepest sympathies to you and your family.

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