June 26, 1934 – July 27, 2021
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Dorothy Jean Lankford Ives passed peacefully from this life into the presence of the Lord on July 27th, 2021 at her home in Albuquerque, New Mexico after a long battle with Dementia.
Although some knew her as Dot, her husband, Gene always called her Dorothy. Her children, Kathleen, Ken, and Jeff, called her mom, her grandchildren, Elise, Elly, Mary and Christopher called her Nama or Gramma, and her great grandchild, Jillian, called her Gigi.
A true Southern Bell, Dorothy Jean Lankford was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. It was there that she met and married her high school sweetheart Gene Ives. The two of them graduated from Auburn University, Dorothy getting her degree in English with an emphasis on Education. Upon finishing college Dorothy and Gene moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico where Gene worked for Sandia National Labs, and where their children were born. They built a life, a home, and family around the things that were very dear to them: church, friends, music, and theater.
Dot’s accomplishments are too many to list here, but chief among them are, raising three children, caring for and building an amazing home, using her gifts as a seamstress to design and make costumes for dozens of theater productions, and using her gift and passion for art as a Tole Painter to open Casa Del Tole in Albuquerque, where she taught painting to countless students as well as selling her art. She traveled all over the country to Tole Painting conventions making wonderful relationships and growing in her artistry. Her art is proudly displayed in her children’s homes.
In the late 80’s Gene’s job at Sandia brought them to California and they relocated to San Ramon. This was a wonderful time as they enjoyed their passions for traveling all around the world, attending the symphony and theater in the Bay Area, and of course visiting and hosting family all the time. Treasured friends were made at their church in San Ramon and during yearly trips to Oregon for the Ashland Shakespeare Festival. For two years they lived in Washington, DC while keeping their home in San Ramon. Dot and Gene loved this time and availed themselves of all the cuisine and culture they could. They returned to San Ramon and lived there until Dorothy’s declining health made a move back to Albuquerque necessary. Dorothy and Gene lived two doors down from Kathleen, son-in-law Alan, and grandson Christopher, who devoted themselves to her care until her passing.
Dorothy will be remembered for many things; an accomplished cook, seamstress, artist and homemaker, her quick wit, tender heart, and an unyielding passion for all things Christmas and Santa.
Dorothy is survived by her husband, Gene Ives; children, Kathleen (Alan) Clawson , Ken (Polly Sanders) Ives, and Jeff (Debbie) Ives; grandchildren, Elise (Chad) Brown , Elly Ives, Mary (Jakob) Garcia, and Christopher Clawson; great grandchild, Jillian Brown, and her sister Donna Nix.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Verna Lee Lankford and John Benton Lankford, jr.
The family wishes to pay tribute to Dorothy by sponsoring the creation of new costumes for a production of Amahl and the Night Visitors for Dayton Opera. Those who wish to join may donate to Dayton Opera: Amahl Costumes in Memory of Dorothy Ives: https://daytonperformingarts.org/donate/
The family thanks you for your prayers and well wishes.
Cremation Society of New Mexico (505) 323-9000
View the online memorial for Dorothy Ives
Published by East Bay Times on May 8, 2022.