HYANNIS - Dorothy Holt Chapman Tinsley passed away in peaceful repose at her home in Hyannis on Monday, May 14th at the age of 96. She was, as always, surrounded by her loving family.

Dorothy was born on September 6, 1921 in her family’s white farm house home in Hubbardston. She was the fourth child and third daughter of her parents, William Albert Chapman, Sr. and Minnie Javert Clark Chapman. Her siblings, Nellie Sargisson of Groton, MA, Marjorie Warner of Litchfield, CT and William A. Chapman, Jr. of Hubbardston, MA predeceased her. She and her siblings were descendants of Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution through her mother’s lineage.

Her husband, former Worcester mayor, Joseph M. Tinsley died in 2003. She leaves her son, David Tinsley and his wife, Carolyn, of Boylston; her daughter Christine Gigliotti and her husband, Frank, of Hyannis; her daughter, Elizabeth King and her husband, Ron, of Worcester; and daughter Marjorie Ursoleo and her husband, Anthony, of Holden.

In addition, she leaves twenty-five grandchildren, Patrick, Daniel, Michael, David, Sean, Christopher and Matthew Tinsley; Marc Landry, Valerie Taylor, Mary-Kate Lott, Joseph, Anthony and Sean Gigliotti; Brendan, Brian, Brett, Kevin, William and James King; Vanessa, Andrew, David and Daniel Ursoleo; Cheryl Key and Joel Newton. She also has thirty-one great grandchildren and counting…

Dorothy attended the Hubbardston Center School and spent her first three years of high school in Gardner. She transferred to and graduated from Athol High in her senior year due to budgetary constraints in the town. Although she was in a new school with new classmates, she won the lead in the senior class play and was most popular.

She matriculated to Salter Secretarial School in Worcester where she learned the skills that prepared her for her career -first as a legal secretary and later as a school secretary in the Worcester School Department. Ironically, she was legal secretary to the principal of the law firm which is the forerunner of the firm where her grandson, practices today. In the Worcester School Department, she worked at Harlow St. School, Chandler Street Junior High and Midland Street Schools.

The arc of Dorothy’s life changed when she met and married the dashing, handsome, articulate, Holy Cross educated, former teacher and U.S. Army officer, Joseph Tinsley. They settled in Worcester to begin their family. For almost 50 years, they lived on Beaconsfield Road in Worcester - across from Christ The King Church where they were long-time active parishioners. Joe also began a political career that saw him serve ten terms on the Worcester City Council including three terms as mayor. Many believe his success was due in no small measure to the appeal of Dorothy!

When you met Dorothy, whether you were a student coming to the office with a schoolyard injury or a neighbor greeting her in the grocery store, you realized you met a person with unusually genuine qualities. She was friendly, loving, compassionate, caring, light, funny and entirely focused on you. She was magnetic; everyone felt better in her company.

She celebrated life continually. Family birthdays were always at the forefront. Even as the family grew relatively large, she devoted unique attention to each member’s birthday. Meanwhile, on religious holidays such as Easter and Christmas, she hosted family parties that began in her home and ultimately grew to banquet rooms in restaurants. Over the years, she hosted hundreds of parties.

Her celebrations became an integral part of the family's calendar. The Christmas party became known as "Red Sack Day" in honor of her and Joe’s tradition of distributing each family’s gifts in large red sacks…in Santa Claus' tradition. The grandchildren thought the day was a national holiday and would ask friends about their "Red Sack" days. Easter was highlighted by the appearance of a magician with a routine designed to entertain adults and children alike. Dorothy reveled in putting on such parties time and again throughout the years.

In 1994 after retiring to Cape Cod, she and Joe moved to Sterling, MA to remedy the untimely and tragic loss of David's wife, Laurie, and help raise his seven sons - the youngest being 5-week old Matthew. At age 72, Dorothy resumed her duties of being a full-time mother of seven boys, five of whom were under the age of 8. She never missed a beat!

Dorothy lead a life of prayer, anchored by her deep personal faith and trust in Jesus Christ. She will long be remembered for her winning personality, her warm smile, her gracious ways, her generous spirit and beautiful blue eyes.

Calling hours will be at the Athy Memorial Home, 111 Lancaster Street, Worcester on Monday, May 21st from 4 to 7 PM. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, May 22nd at 11:00 AM at Christ The King Church, 1050 Pleasant Street, Worcester. Burial will follow in Worcester County Memorial Park in Paxton.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Laurie C. Tinsley Scholarship Fund, c/o Greater Worcester Community Foundation, 370 Main Street, 6th Floor, Worcester, MA 01608 or the Nazareth Home for Boys, 77 Mulberry Street, Leicester, MA 01524.