Dorothy Burnett Kirkham died peacefully on July 25, 2019 at Brightview Warren, in Warren, NJ. She was 94 years old.
Dorothy, known as Debbie, was born in Stettin, Germany, but came to America with her family just before World War II. She and her identical twin, Irene, attended Northfield Seminary in Northfield, MA. After graduating, Debbie attained her nursing degree and became an operating room nurse at New York Hospital where she formed lifelong friendships. After many years Debbie left New York Hospital to become head nurse of the medical unit at Time Life, under the direction of Dr. F. Theodore (“Ted”) Kirkham. Ted became the love of Debbie’s life and they had 5 amazing years together before his death in 1981.
Debbie was a true New Yorker who loved the city and the arts, especially music. She was a devoted volunteer and docent at the New York Public Library until she turned 90, as well as an active member of Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church. Debbie was innately elegant, exuding a sophisticated charm and her sparkle made her popular with people of all ages.
She is survived by her nieces and nephew, Peggy Burnett Baggaley, Katharine Burnett and P. Paul Burnett and their families as well as by Ted’s surviving daughter, Sara Kirkham, and the husband and family of Ted’s daughter Julie Kirkham: Elliott Lewitt, Isabelle Kirkham-Lewitt and Theo Kirkham-Lewitt. She is also survived by her beloved foster siblings, Peter Hovell, Lynne Hovell Hoe and their families as well as by her goddaughters, Lisa Bippart Ghriskey, Brooke Hoe and Catherine Hovell.
A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, August 7 at 11:00 am at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, 921 Madison Avenue (73rd St), New York. In lieu of flowers, donations in Debbie’s memory may be made to The New York Public Library, Membership Office, 445 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016.
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