Dorothy Jean Gilroy

March 27, 1921 ~ May 1, 2022 (age 101)


Dorothy Jean Gilroy (nee Jordan) of Bettendorf, Iowa, passed away on Sunday, the 1st of May, from natural causes. She was preceded in death by her husband of 59 years, John Gilroy, son James (‘Jim’) Gilroy, daughter Marjorie (‘Maggie’) Gilroy Farmer Jordan, brothers Clair, Kenneth, and James Jordan, and sister Cathleen (Sister Mary Esther) Jordan. She is survived by her sister Lenore Clark, son John (‘Jack’) Gilroy, Jr., daughter Mary Gilroy, grandson Brian Farmer, great-grandchildren Kaidence, Bennett and Easton Farmer, daughter-in-law Debra Mattson Gilroy, and granddaughter-in-law Angela Kealey Farmer.


Dorothy was born on Easter Sunday, March 27, 1921, to Floyd Jordan and Ellen Hogan in a farm house near North English, Iowa. Her basic education began in a one-room schoolhouse in rural Iowa. After the departure of her father, her mother moved her and her siblings to Davenport, Iowa, where they were raised by the religious sisters of the Congregation of the Humility of Mary at St. Vincent’s Orphanage. In 1938, she graduated at the head of her class at the Villa de Chantal High School in Rock Island, Illinois. After high school, she became a clerical worker for several years at Nichols Wire and other firms in Davenport. Dorothy met her husband, a returning World War II Army Air Force combat veteran, at a Catholic Youth Dance at the Col Ballroom in Davenport. She and John were married by Monsignor Martin Cone at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport in September, 1947.


The focus of Dorothy’s life for the next several decades was raising her four children and the family dog, Bridget, maintaining her household in Bettendorf, and caring for her elderly mother and mother-in-law, Nellie O’Connor Gilroy. In the late 1970s, she returned to work outside the home at the Rock Island Arsenal until retiring in the early 1990s. Dorothy remained active in her retirement years by gardening, baking, crocheting, watching TV, reading newspapers and magazines, hosting countless family get-togethers, showing visitors how to do the Charleston, and communicating with a wide range of friends, relatives, and neighbors. She was an active member of Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Bettendorf for 70 years and said the rosary daily. In 1960, Dorothy was thrilled to shake the hand of Senator John F. Kennedy on his brief presidential campaign drive through Bettendorf.


In her early retirement years, Dorothy and her husband traveled extensively to visit their children and other family members and friends in the U.S. In the 1980s, Dorothy’s son Jim took her and her husband on several long trips to the European continent and the British Isles, where they wrote on the Berlin Wall (“Gorby, c’mon over!”), explored the family’s Irish roots, kissed the Blarney Stone, touched the monoliths at Stonehenge, and visited her husband’s wartime air base in southern England. But temperamentally, she was a devoted homebody, who loved the peace and quiet of her own residence, with its thriving indoor plants and beautiful tulips and well-fed birds in the front yard.


While dementia in later years impaired her short-term memory and conversational ability, Dorothy remained a very pleasant, polite, kind, inquisitive, loving human being. She was deeply grateful to the doctors, nurses and other clinical staff who treated her, to the religious volunteers who brought her Holy Communion on Sunday for many years, and to the dedicated women who provided her with assisted living care at home in recent years and nursing home care at the Kahl Home during the last three years of her life. For all who became acquainted with her warm smile, wonderful sense of humor, and sweet, appreciative outlook on life, Dorothy will be deeply missed.


Visitation will be held at the McGinnis-Chambers Funeral Home in Bettendorf on Wednesday, May 4, from 5:00-7:00 PM and at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Bettendorf on Thursday, May 5, from 10:00-11:00 AM. (The family requests that masks be worn.) Funeral services will be held at Our Lady of Lourdes on Thursday, May 5, at 11:00 AM, and burial will follow at Mt. Calvary Cemetery. Donations can be made in her name to the Humility Homes and Services, Inc. (HHSI) for affordable housing in the Quad-

To send flowers to Dorothy's family, please visit our floral store.


May 4, 2022

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
McGinnis-Chambers Funeral Home
644 River Dr.
Bettendorf, Iowa 52722

Funeral Service
May 5, 2022

11:00 AM
Our Lady of Lourdes, Mt. Calvary Cemetery

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