There were two things that Dorothy “Dottie” Myers’ life centered around.
Her only child — a beloved daughter named Jen — and the thousands of children Myers worked with and cared for during three decades as a physical education assistant for Virginia Beach public schools.
Most all those years were spent at Glenwood Elementary School, where Myers was one of several PE assistants.
“She loved her students, I mean absolutely loved them,” said Beth Figo, a longtime former co-worker and close friend. “And they loved her, too.”
On Dec. 21, Myers died of complications related to COVID-19 after battling the disease — and other health problems — for a couple of weeks, according to friends and family. She was 64. Myers’ husband of 40 years, Tom, also was hospitalized with the disease for several days but has recovered.
Since her mother’s death, Jen Myers, 39, said “an absolute ton” of people have contacted her to let her know just how special her mother was to them and others.
“It seems like anybody who worked with her and got hold of my number or found me on Facebook has reached out,” Jen Myers said. “It’s been amazing.”
Several others posted their heartfelt messages and memories on an online obituary. Kindhearted, giving, patient, hard-working and creative were among the adjectives used to describe Myers.
“Although I was not a very well-behaved student of her’s, I still remember the love she spread to me and my fellow students,” wrote one former student. “I will forever feel the lasting impression of her teaching and while she has passed away, she will live on through the lives she has touched.”
“Dottie was one of the most beautiful souls I ever met,” a friend wrote. “She treated everyone with respect and kindness. She treated every child like her own. She will be missed by many and was an example to all who knew her.”
Myers’ supervisor, Jason Clark, wrote about what a loss her death is for the school and its many students.
“It’s still hard to believe that someone as loving, caring, and giving as Dottie is no longer with us,” Clark wrote. “Mrs. Myers was an incredible coworker but Dottie Myers was an even better friend who gave her heart to those she cared about.”
Myers grew up in New Jersey and came to Virginia Beach with her husband in the mid-1980s after several years of moving around for his Navy career, Jen Myers said.
Myers worked in retail for a while but took a job as physical education assistant because she wanted a work schedule that was more in line with her daughter’s school schedule.
“Jen was everything to her,” Figo, her longtime friend and co-worker said. “She was the apple of her eye.”
Myers never missed one of her daughter’s softball games, Figo said. She especially loved being outdoors and spending long days at the beach, no matter what the weather was.
The family is not planning a service at this time because of the pandemic, Jen Myers said. They have asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to COVID-19 relief efforts.
Jane Harper, 757-222-5097, email@example.com