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Dorothy Van Nest

May 29, 1922 -
September 16, 2001

Scottsdale, Arizona – Dorothy Anne (“D.A.”) (Murphy) Van Nest was born in Houston, Texas on May 29, 1922 and died in Scottsdale, Arizona on September 16, 2017. D.A.’s long American heritage can be traced back to her direct ancestor, Edward Doty, a passenger on the Mayflower.

D.A. grew up in Champaign, Illin…read more

Scottsdale, Arizona – Dorothy Anne (“D.A.”) (Murphy) Van Nest was born in Houston, Texas on May 29, 1922 and died in Scottsdale, Arizona on September 16, 2017. D.A.’s long American heritage can be traced back to her direct ancestor, Edward Doty, a passenger on the Mayflower.

D.A. grew up in Champaign, Illinois with her brother, Dwyer. At the age of 5, she lost her mother, Dorothy (Doty) Murphy, and she was raised by her father, Frank Dwyer Murphy and her stepmother, Katherine (Huff) Murphy. D.A. attended Holy Cross Church in Champaign and graduated from University High School. She went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Illinois. D.A. was a proud member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, and throughout her life she wrote many recommendations for young women to join the sorority.

After college, D.A. moved to Chicago and worked in the trust department of the Northern Trust Company. She loved the city life and made many friends there. After the war, she was introduced to her future husband, Robert (Bob) Van Nest, on a blind date, and the couple married in December of 1948. D.A. and Bob were married for over 68 years until his death in April of this year.

As a long-time resident of Western Springs, Illinois, D.A. lovingly raised three children. Everyone will remember her as the consummate homemaker, decorator and entertainer. She enjoyed cooking and fashion, and she was a skilled seamstress, making many of her own dresses. She also became an avid stock market investor, leading an active and very successful women’s investment club for many years. D.A. was a curious person and a voracious reader.

D.A. loved to play golf, and she was a member of the LaGrange Country Club in LaGrange, Illinois until her death. She had also been a member of Desert Forest Golf Club in Carefree, Arizona since 1982. Along with her husband and their many golfing friends, she played golf in many countries of the world. She was a world traveler, having visited every continent and over 100 countries with her husband.

D.A. was an enthusiastic community volunteer and served for several terms on the school board for the Western Springs School District, including as president. She loved to sing in the church choir at All Saint’s Episcopal Church and was a soprano in the Cecilians, a women’s chorus, for many years. After moving to Carefree, Arizona, D.A. became a founding member and avid supporter of the Musicale, serving as a homestay hostess to guest classical music artists. D.A. was a very kind and welcoming individual, and she had a wonderful sense of humor. She was very sociable and was an avid and sought-after bridge player.

Dorothy Anne is survived by her three children: Robert Van Nest, Jr. (Deborah), of Piedmont, California; John Van Nest (Karla) of Sierra Madre, California; and Nancy Van Nest (Cary Williams) of Groton, Massachusetts. She was predeceased by her husband, Bob, and her brother, Dwyer Murphy, of Champaign, Illinios. D.A. leaves six grandchildren: Rory (Yigit) Ihlamur and Drew Van Nest (Brandi Baughman), Carrie Anne and Elliot Van Nest, and Jorie and Nils Van Nest. She leaves two great-grandchildren, Travis and Brinley Van Nest. As the beloved family matriarch, she will be greatly missed by her many nieces and nephews and by all who knew her.

A celebration of life reception will be held in D.A.’s honor at Vi at Silverstone, 23005 N. 74th Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85255 in November. A burial service will be held at 10 a.m. on October 16 at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Champaign, Illinois.

Morgan Memorial Home, Savoy is handling arrangements (www.morganmemorialhome.com).

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