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Dorothy I (Miller) DeLong

June 19, 1924 — May 13, 2023

Wayne Township

Dorothy I (Miller) DeLong, 98 years 11 months, passed away May 13, 2023, at her home.

She married Adam W. DeLong who predeceased her on October 28, 2013.

Dorothy was born in Wayne Township, Schuylkill County, she was the daughter of the late Irvin Elmer Miller and Maude Elizabeth (Krause) Miller and had 14 siblings.

She graduated with an eighth-grade diploma and then worked as a sewing machine operator in several garment factories and at Indiantown Gap during World War II. She was a secretary/bookkeeper for DeLong Builders, Inc.

Dorothy enjoyed gardening, quilting, cooking for her family, mowing grass with her John Deere 318 riding mower, watching and listening to polkas Saturday evenings, and working jigsaw and word search puzzles.

She was the mother of two daughters, Karen DeLong of Bernville, and Loretta Coltrane, wife of Dr. Robert Coltrane of Woolrich, Clinton County; and the grandmother of David Coltrane, Bernville.

She is survived by one brother, Irvin “Chub” Pine Grove; sisters: Priscilla “Sis” Baugh, New Jersey; Arlene Beck, Pine Grove, Dawn Keller Schuylkill Haven; numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins and was pre-deceased by siblings: Marlin, Kathryn, Carl, Arnold, Robert, Fern, Thomas, Arvel, June, and Earl.

At Dorothy’s request, private funeral services will be at the convenience of the family. Kirkhoff Funeral Home, Bernville is entrusted with arrangements. Burial will be at Salem Hetzel’s Church Cemetery, Pine Grove, PA.

Memorial donations in Dorothy’s name may be made to Salem Hetzel’s Church for U.C.C. expenses only 261 Hetzel’s Church Road, Pine Grove, PA 17963.

“On the Day I Die” From John Pavlovitz’s book, If God Is Love Don’t Be a Jerk: Finding a Faith That Makes Us Better Humans

On the day I die, a lot will happen.

A lot will change.

The world will be busy.

On the day I die, all the important appointments I made will be left unattended.

The many plans I had yet to complete will remain forever undone.

The calendar that ruled so many of my days will now be irrelevant to me.

All the material things I chased and guarded and treasured will be left in the hands of others to care for or discard.  The words of my critics which so burdened me will cease to sting or capture my attention anymore. They will be unable to touch me.

The arguments I believed I’d won here will not serve me or bring me any satisfaction or solace.

All my noisy incoming notifications, texts and calls will go unanswered. Their great urgency will be quieted.

My many nagging regrets will all be resigned to the past, where they should have always been anyway.

Every superficial worry about my body that I ever labored over about my waistline or hairline or frown lines- will fade away.  My carefully crafted image, the one I worked so hard to shape for others here, will be left to them to complete anyway.  The sterling reputation I once struggled so greatly to maintain will be of little concern for me anymore.

All the small and large anxieties that stole sleep from me each night will be rendered powerless.

The deep and towering mysteries about life and death that consumed my mind will finally be clarified in a way that they could never be while I lived.

These things will certainly be true on the day that I die.  Yet for as much as will happen on that day, there is one more thing that will happen.

On the day I die, the few people who really know and truly love me will grieve deeply.

They will feel a void.

They will feel cheated.

They will not be ready.

They will feel as though a part of them has died as well.  And on that day, more than anything in the world they will want more time with me.

I know this from those I love and grieve over.

And so, knowing this, while I am still alive, I’ll try to remember that my time with them is finite and fleeting and so very precious and I’ll do my best not to waste a second of it.

I’ll try not to squander a priceless moment worrying about all the other things that will happen on the day I die, because many of those things are either not my concern or beyond my control.  Friends, those other things have an insidious way of keeping you from living even as you live: vying for your attention, competing for your affections.

They rob you of the joy of this unrepeatable, uncontainable, ever-evaporating Now with those who love you and want only to share it with you.

Don’t miss the chance to dance with them while you can.  It’s easy to waste so much daylight in the days before you die.  Don’t let your life be stolen every day, by all that you’ve been led to believe matters, because on the day you die- the fact is that much of it simply won’t.

Yes, you and I will die one day.

But before that day comes: let us live.

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