Death of Dorothy Fyfe, child of missionaries and missionary to Turkey
Dorothy Nilson Fyfe 1930 – 2010
Global Ministries is saddened to learn of the death of Dorothy Nilson Fyfe on Tuesday, June 8, 2010, her 80th birthday, in Grinnell, Iowa.
Dorothy was born on June 8, 1930, in Talas, Turkey, to Reverend Paul E. and Harriet Blanchard Nilson, who were missionaries of the United Church of Christ. She married James G. Fyfe in 1952 in Talas, where he also served. They moved to Chicago in 1954 where James entered the seminary. Dorothy worked in many different capacities supporting her husband’s ministry in a Presbyterian Church. The family moved back to Turkey in 1962, where, alongside her parents, both taught in a private school in Iskenderun, Turkey. They returned to the U.S in 1966 where she was a mother to four sons and continued to support her husband’s ministry in the Presbyterian Church. In 1981, Dorothy completed her master’s degree in audiology from the University of Iowa and worked as an audiologist in New Mexico and Iowa.
Dorothy volunteered for the Ames (IA) Public Library and the Worldly Goods Store and was active in a writer’s club. She retired in 1997 and the couple moved to the Mayflower Community in Grinnell in 2006.
For several years before working on her audiology degree, Dorothy had written Sunday School lessons for two publications. She wrote poetry, memoirs, and nonfiction and appeared in various publications including Julian’ Journal, Active After 50, Lyrical Iowa, and Mid America Poetry Review. She was an active member of the Mayflower Poetry Club and the Iowa Poetry Association and taught writing courses for Iowa State University’s College for Seniors program. She wrote and privately published Stories from the Vineyard as a memoir of her parents and their life together as missionaries and a family in Turkey.
Dorothy is survived by her husband, James Fyfe of Grinnell, Iowa; four sons: John Fyfe of Tinley Park, Illinois; Paul Fyfe of Albuquerque, New Mexico; Tim Fyfe of Clear Lake, Iowa, and Stephen Fyfe of Pella, Iowa; 13 grandchildren; 3 great grandchildren; one brother, Paul H. Nilson; and two sisters, May Inscoe and Sylvia Meyer.
Condolences may be sent to Reverend James G. Fyfe, 631 Park Street, Apt. A106, Grinnell, IA 50112-2271. The family has requested memorials to the Mayflower Human Needs Fund, Mayflower Homes Foundation, 616 Broad Street, Grinnell IA 50112.
A memorial service will be held 10:30 a.m., Monday, June 14, 2010, in the Carman Center of the Mayflower Community in Grinnell.
The Smith Funeral Home of Grinnell is in charge of arrangements.