In Memoriam of Dorothy Barnett Modisette
No one can replace one’s mother. For a mother, her children are her first priority. Our mothers take care of us, listen to us and love unconditionally. Dorothy (Dot) was that kind of mother and beyond.
Dot Modisette passed away on January 30, 2021 at the age of 93, in Renton, Washington after a long illness. She is preceded in death by husband of 54 years, James O. Modisette, Jr.
Dot is survived by her daughters, Janet (Jana) Modisette Brictson (David) of Colorado and Lisa Modisette (Pete Gallio) of Washington and many loving nieces and nephews.
Dot was born in 1927 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to Ford and Lou Barnett, the only daughter out of three sons Lynn, Dodd and Mark. Raised in Denham Springs, her childhood chasing after her older brothers, lightening bugs and fishing for crawdads.
Dot met her future husband Jim Modisette, a young Air Force fighter pilot through a mutual friend whom Dot happened to be dating at the time. Before leaving on an extended business trip, Dot’s boyfriend casually suggested Jim look in on Dot while out of town. The boyfriend had no idea how seriously he underestimated his buddy, Jim Modisette. The clueless boyfriend returned to find that Dot and Jim had fallen in love and about to be engaged.
Dot and Jim spent the next 33 years in the Air Force moving every 2-4 years. Being married to a fighter pilot and living in the military culture was exciting to Dot and she embraced the lifestyle immediately. Their first assignment as a married couple was in Florida and from there to Georgia, then Washington DC, Kansas, California, Alabama, California again, Norway, New Mexico, Italy, Germany, Colorado and the last being San Diego where they retired and lived for the next 22 years.
Anyone who was lucky enough to have known Dot or to be in her presence will agree that she had a glow, a certain light that never ceased to shine. She was curious, vibrant and fun loving by nature. Witty, clever and modern in her outlook on life. Known for her style and fashion sense, Dot would occasionally take Jana out of school to go shopping, have lunch and have quality mother/daughter time. Fiercely protective of her family and loyal to friends, she could be feisty and never hesitated to speak frankly. Her favorite thing was to invite young, unmarried couples over for drinks and to innocently muse out loud if they were considering getting married. It tickled her to no end to think she might have helped to move along a possible marriage proposal.
Prior to leaving for a 2 year stint in Vietnam, Jim returned from jungle survival school in time to surprise Dot and be there for her birthday party thrown by Zada/ Gerry Schriever at Edwards, AFB. During the party, one of Jim’s buddies asked Jim about the judo moves he had learned in survival school. Feeling confident, Jim decided to demonstrate a judo move using Dot as his volunteer. Before he knew it and to both of their surprise, Dot had flipped him onto his back. Jim ever the good sport brushed himself off and joined in on the laughter and applause that followed.
While raising her daughters and supporting her husband’s career, Dot also volunteered for Girl Scouts of America, taught art classes in her daughter’s elementary school, modeled in local fashion shows and illustrated a cookbook through the Officer’s Wives Club. The consummate hostess, she entertained with aplomb whether it was friends, top military brass or even foreign diplomats. No matter where the family was stationed, whether abroad or at home in the States, Dot made sure to make all our Christmases and Thanksgivings wonderful and magical.
She had a passion for art, interior decorating, bridge, books, attending the ballet/theatre, dancing to music and loved to travel. One trip Dot especially enjoyed was traveling to Brazil. Lisa was a foreign exchange student in Brazil at the time and Dot was able to meet Lisa’s host family and have an up close personal tour from Lisa as well. In retirement, Dot worked for a travel agency that offered her the opportunity to host two small guided tours to Tahiti and China plus take personal side trips to San Francisco and many other cities.
It’s a cliché, however in Dot’s case, she did live life to the fullest. Dot rarely looked back on life with regret except maybe once. She was sitting on a bench gazing out on the ocean in La Jolla, CA in 1995 and quietly confided that her only regret in life was that she never had a large walk-in closet.
The family would like to thank Sunset Gardens Family Home, specifically Dee, Mary, Susan and John for their attentive and loving care to Dot and for the incredible support they have given to our family throughout the last three years. Jana and Lisa would also like to thank family and friends for their outpouring of kindness, support and love during this difficult time.
In lieu of flowers we ask that you consider a donation in Dot Modisette’s name to either adult family home council.org (non-profit) or a charity that Dot supported and was started by the Tuskagee Airmen Organization: redtailscholarshipfoundation.org
Please feel free to visit the online guestbook to share your own memories of Dot Modisette on the Tribute Wall located above.
Arrangements entrusted to the care of Emmick Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Seattle, WA
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