Dorothea Isabel Fleisher of Southold, N.Y., passed away May 22, 2020, at Peconic Bay Medical Center from a non-COVID-related illness. She was 86.
Dorothea — Dot to her many friends — was born on Nov. 18, 1933, to Olga (Reimann) and Anton Riesz in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Canada. She received her R.N. from Saskatoon City Hospital in 1955. She then took the unusual and adventurous path of buying a station wagon jointly with her best friend and fellow nurse, Gwen. They worked their way to the west coast of Canada, then across the United States to New York. She met her future husband, Martin Fleisher, while on staff at Southampton Hospital. Born in the wheat-filled prairies of the Canadian Midwest, it had always been her dream to see the ocean. She spent the rest of her life on Long Island, surrounded by beaches and water.
Dot retired in 2012 from Southside Hospital, Bay Shore, where she had worked for over 35 years as an ICU/CCU nurse. She worked full-time until she was 79. She truthfully said, “I just dye my hair and no one knows how old I am.” She received her B.S. in nursing from Adelphi University in 1986, and spent many years volunteering for the American Heart Association, teaching CPR.
Dot gave herself to the Christian ideal of a life of service. She was an active member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Greenport, where she looked forward every year to helping with Maureen’s Haven homeless shelter and cooking for church events. Before moving to Southold she attended St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Amityville, N.Y., and served as a member of the Altar Guild and taught Sunday school.
While Dot’s profession was to heal the human body, her avocation was to heal the natural world. She was an avid gardener, and earned her master gardener’s certificate from Cornell Cooperative Extension. She designed and planted a site-appropriate garden at Cornell’s Suffolk County Marine Environmental Learning Center at Cedar Beach in Southold. She supported many conservation programs and animal welfare organizations, including the North Fork Animal Welfare League. She spent hours bird-watching on the North Fork, marking the seasons by waiting for the ospreys to return each spring and cheering on their fledglings as they migrated every September.
Dot leaves behind her only child, Beth Fleisher (Chris Claremont) of Brooklyn, N.Y.; brother Ray Riesz (Dorothy) of Yorkton, Saskatchewan; and sister Margaret Mannings (David) of Burnaby, British Columbia. “Bobscha” greatly loved grandsons Alasdhair and Ben, who were fortunate to be able to spend every summer with her in Southold.
These short lines cannot capture a life well spent. Please join us, her family, in remembering her. Arrangements are being made by Horton-Mathie Funeral Home. However, due to the current pandemic, interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations in her name to North Fork Animal Welfare League would be a fitting tribute.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dorothea Isabel Fleisher, please visit our floral store.