Tobias Funeral Home - Far Hills Chapel

5471 Far Hills Ave, Dayton, OH


Dorothy Elizabeth D'Epiro

October 1, 1941February 13, 2020

On February 13, 2020, Dorothy Elizabeth (Johnston) D'Epiro passed away peacefully at home with her husband by her side.

Born on October 1, 1941, Dorothy (Dottie) entered the world with a passion for living life to its fullest - and that she did. Dottie was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, the youngest child of Jack and Helen Johnston, with whom she is reunited with in heaven. She met the love of her life, Robert (Bob) D'Epiro, when they both were 15. She moved to NYC after high school to become a ballerina dancing with the Radio City Music Hall Ballet Company and with the Rockettes.

On December 28, 1963, Dottie and Bob married and started their life together in Fairborn, Ohio. Dottie's mission in life was loving Bob and her ever growing family. She dedicated her life to raising 4 daughters - Eileen Gauder, Terri Leisten, Tina Ruffolo, & Gena Leisten, and welcoming her sons-in-law – Bob, Jeff, Rick, and David. Her love poured out further to each of her grandchildren - Andrea (Gauder), Tim, Alexa and Tim, III Rieger, Kelsey Gauder, Jonathan Leisten, Ashley Leisten, Bobbi (Gauder) & Joe Jenkins, Danielle Ruffolo, Robby Ruffolo, Jacob Leisten, Dominic Ruffolo, Ellie Leisten, Julia Ruffolo, Nicholas Leisten, Anthony Ruffolo, & Ryan Leisten - whom she always showered with an "I Love You More" every time she saw them.

The family is grateful for the love and support provided by so many throughout the Dayton community. They will receive friends on Thursday, February 20 from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm, at St. Mary's of the Assumption Parish, Springboro, Ohio. The Roman Catholic Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Friday, February 21 at 10:00 am.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks you to consider making donations in Dottie’s name to pulmonaryfibrosis.org or hospiceofdayton.org/donations.


21 February

Mass of Christian Burial

10:00 am

St. Mary of the Assumption

9579 Yankee Street
Springboro, Phio 45066


  • Gathering of Family and Friends Thursday, February 20, 2020


Dorothy Elizabeth D'Epiro

have a memory or condolence to add?

Alan Prrkins

February 21, 2020

Bob and Dottie transformed lives through the Arts. I was blessed to be touched by such an amazing lady. Peace to Bob and the family at this time of great loss.

Lori Gentry

February 20, 2020

I had the privilege of meeting and getting to know Dottie from 5 Seasons Sports Club. I was always amazed at her energy and willingness to learn new things with fitness and working out. She was so proud of her children and her family!
She was always cheerful, friendly and welcoming. I enjoyed her company and her stories. Thank you for allowing me to sit by your side and hold your hand during those times.
She was always supportive and encouraging to all of us who knew her. Your soul and your heart were pure Dottie. Your presence will be missed my dear lady. God bless!

Terry Kollesser Aretz

February 19, 2020

I have such fond memories of marching band and Debonaires. I always had such great respect for Mrs. D'Epiro and felt lucky to have her as our director. Peace and blessings to your family. Thanks for all you did at Park Hills.

Phil and Dee Babel

February 17, 2020

We knew Dottie and Bob from Mary Help of Christians School and Church, back in the late 60's early 70's. We were neighbors in Fairborn , Ohio. Our children grew up together. Dottie was a wonderful, delightful person and a pleasure to know. Our prayers are with Bob and the family. Dottie was a true first-class friend. The last thing Dottie said to us one night after playing cards was "Pray for Me".

Deb and Tom Leonard

February 16, 2020

We send our sincere condolences and prayers for your family for peace and happy memories.

Stephen Saylor

February 16, 2020

I was lucky enough to be Mr. and Mrs. D'Epiro's "adopted" son for 4 hours. Back in the D'Epiro family bluegrass band days, they were hired to play a charity event in Cincinnati. Bob wanted to add a few upbeat songs to their Bluegrass repertoire so he asked me to play drums with them for the event. During the show he introduced himself, Dot, and all four daughters. then made a joke saying "and this is Steve, our adopted son tonight" We performed to thunderous applause and after the show, every single person in attendance couldn't stop lavishing us with praise. Later that night, Dot and Gina found out why. That organization's main work was supporting foster families and adoption and they actually thought the D'Epiro's had adopted me. Then again, there are thousands of kids who probably felt adopted by them over the years. All I can say is, I hope the Angels are ready to learn how to Kick Line!

Mandy Brackett-Hofferbert

February 16, 2020

I met Mrs D in high school. Bob was our band director at Park Hills High School in Fairborn, Ohio. She was so lovely and sweet and kind. Always giving ideas and support to our Flag Corp. Their daughters were beautiful like their Mother. My heart is sad to hear of her passing. I know she lived a wonderful life. I am so proud to have known her. My love goes out to her family, and pray for peace and comfort at this sad time.

Jane Fletcher ( Ortman)

February 16, 2020

I was amongst the hundreds (probably thousands) of students touched by (Bob and) Dottie D’Epiro during the Viking Guard years in Fairborn. They had such an impact on so many young lives, many of us surely grew up to be better adults, family members and workers dedicated to life because of their example. By example they taught us discipline, self challenge, determination, pride in self and performance. To this day ,I am sure it is what drives my high standard of practice and success in this world. They caused us to be our best selves ( because they knew we had it in us), often times when many of us had no other guidance. Next to my Husband and kids, being part of Viking Guard / having the great fortune of being taught by Dottie and Bob, was the best time of my life. Many thanks Dottie for sharing your life and spirit with us. “Mr D” ( Eileen Terri, Tina &Gina) love, hugs,and may God bless you and keep you close in this time of loss.
Jane Fletcher-Ortman

Laurel and Betsy Mayer

February 16, 2020

Our condolences to Bob, daughters and extended families. Dottie will be missed and long remembered for making everyone she met or was with feel better about themselves.

Cathy Ols

February 15, 2020

Where to begin? Dottie and I met through tennis. To say that she became more than a friend would be an understatement. Her kindness, love, laughter and joy bubbled through her entire being...we were instantly kindred spirits.
Dottie and Bob melded into our family and there wasn’t a time when she didn’t ask how my Tim and Mark were doing even though we moved to Illinois and then Texas.
Fun fact... our Dottie was a fierce Game Night competitor...just ask Bob about Spoons.
Rest high on that mountain Dottie...your handprint remains on my heart❤️♥️❤️ Love you more...Cathy OLS