Dorine Ringwood Tracy
Dorine Tracy was the daughter of Harold and Nell Ringwood, part of a farming family with deep roots in the wheat country around Sprague, Washington – going back generations to the Ringwoods who homesteaded there. She was one of five very close brothers and sisters.
One of Dorine’s greatest childhood joys was riding her horse Peanuts, heading off to sit in the shade and read western novels. Everyone had a job on the farm, and at 13 Dorine’s was driving truck during harvest – until it was discovered her attention was focused on reading Zane Grey instead of being on time with her truck to meet the combine. She was fired from truck driving and sent back to kitchen duty, where she learned from her mother and Aunt Till the very secret and sacred art of “the perfect cinnamon roll”. In later years, several of Dorine’s children continued the connection to the Ringwood farm by working the harvest with their cousins over the years. None of them got fired for reading on the job, though the younger cousins did enjoy riding in the trucks as the wheat was delivered to the elevators.
Dorine discovered her passion and profession at Sacred Heart Nursing School in Spokane. During her years at Sacred Heart, Dorine and her friends enjoyed many mixers with the guys from Gonzaga University. This is where Dorine and John met and the dance of their love began. One special memory was of the 1948 Harvest Ball – a picture from that ball of Dorine, John, and friends still hangs on the wall at GU. That same picture hung on the wall in their family home and prompted many stories over the years, shared with their children and grandchildren.
In 1965, Dorine and John moved to the Kirkland area where they put down new roots. They raised six children, and family was everything. Of course, ‘everything’ included a sailboat with trips to the San Juans, big family holiday dinners, bike rides, joys and occasional tragedies. The refrain around the dining table was: “which way are we passing the plates?” And whether right or left was decided, platters circulated both ways every time. The memory of “how many leaves do we need in the table,” will always be held dear. As it turned out, her early years of kitchen duty paid off for her kids, since she was a fantastic cook.
If you’d ever been around Dorine, you’d know she was Irish. The blessing at the front door, the shamrocks in the house, and the trips to Ireland were obvious signs; but what really gave it away was her buoyant spirit and ready laughter. Dorine and John’s great friends, Clare and Austin, remained close compatriots and partners in adventure over 70 years – sailing, riding, trips – and of course, they’re Irish too.
Dorine fulfilled her lifelong calling to service in her career in nursing as well as in her community. She formed enduring friendships within her nursing circle and her neighborhood. Friends described her as “the kind of friend everyone should have” and “a true angel on earth.” These reflections speak to the values of kindness and faith that she held so strongly. Throughout her life, Dorine’s heart overflowed with hope and unconditional love.
Predeceased by her son Tim and husband John, Dorine is survived by children Susan (David), John (Anna Marie), Kevin (Al), Denis (JoAnn), Meghan (Richard), and grandchildren Dorine (Dorje), William (Alida), Samuel, Quinlan, Ryan, Kyle, Alexandra, and Brennen, and great grandchild Arthur.
Our treasure is greatly missed. Sunrise June 22, 1926. Sunset August 14, 2016.
A funeral mass and service for Dorine will be held at Holy Family Catholic Church in Kirkland at 11am on September 3rd, followed by a celebration of Dorine’s life at the Bayshore Room at the Woodmark Hotel in Carillon Point, Kirkland. Dorine’s family invites all to attend, and please bring a picture and a story. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Evergreen Hospice.