Dorothy Marie Pessillo

June 23, 1944May 1, 2018

Dotty died on May 1, 2018, after years of dealing with lungs that were never as good as she was. Her last days were filled with love and laughter surrounded by all four of her sisters. She arrived a month early June 23, 1944 in Daytona Beach, FL to the late Paul and Ruth Pessillo. A sixth generation Floridian, she enjoyed Florida’s weather (but not the hurricanes). She graduated Winter Haven High School in 1962 and moved to Tallahassee to begin a distinguished career with the State of Florida, where she rose to the level of Exec. Secretary to the Head of the Florida Department of Corrections, Louie L. Wainwright. She earned a BA, cum laude, in Criminology in 1976, from FL State College of Criminology & Criminal Justice and remained an ardent supporter of her ‘Noles,’ always with sympathy to misbegotten Gators’ fans. She received her Juris Doctor from Stetson College of Law in 1983 and soon after took on the role of Assistant State Attorney in the Juvenile Criminal Division of Pinellas County, FL. She achieved a level of respect and admiration that only a few women obtained in that era. She retired in 2000, after 30 years of hard work and dedication to the State of Florida, and began the full time pursuit of other interests in Feather Sound, Clearwater, FL. Dotty found a passion for film, diving into acting classes and snagging modeling jobs, commercials and movie work. She was active in the FL Motion Picture & Television Assn (FMPTA) and the Sunscreen Film Society and she took great pride in Murder, It’s For The Birds, a tall tale told from the point of view of, and narrated by, a pelican. It will be screened by The Tampa Bay Film Society at their upcoming Movie Night, 7 pm June 19, 2018, at the Holiday Inn Express in Oldsmar FL. (Open to the public, suggested donation $5.00.) A county music fan she attended many concerts, and of course, the Plant City Strawberry Festival almost every year with her sisters. She made a long desired pilgrimage to Graceland, taking a niece that shared her love of Elvis. A “few” mementos from the gift shop were a trip highlight for both. (They left a couple.) Dotty is survived by sisters, Judith Thompson, Marilu (Mike) Dempsey, Patricia (Tom) Pridgen, and Karen Bailey. She will be remembered by all for her genuine kindness, sisters, nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews, and cousins. Every member of her large extended family will feel her loss deeply. She never forgot a birthday or important occasion, and she was only a phone call away for advice, comfort and support. Fur-baby, Maximilian (Max) Pessillo, will continue his life of spoiled indulgence with a good friend. Dotty was preceded in death by her father, Paul Pessillo, whom she lovingly cared for in her home for many years; her stepmother, Delora Pessillo; and mother, Ruth Pessillo. A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, 1955 South Belcher Road, Clearwater FL 33764 at 11 am Friday, June 29, 2018. A Celebration of Dotty’s Life will immediately follow at the Feather Sound HOA Clubhouse, 14845 Feather Cove Lane, Clearwater FL 33762. A burial at sea ceremony will be conducted Saturday, June 30, 2018. Memorial donations may be made to one of Dotty’s many charities such as The Humane Society of Pinellas County, Clearwater FL; Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust; and The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast in Clearwater, FL 33760 Family may be contacted at: or Pessillo, PO Box 162985, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714.


Dorothy Marie Pessillo

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