Doretta V Konesey

June 13, 1914 ~ March 21, 2021 (age 106)




Born on June 13, 1914, before the start of WWI, the Spanish Flu, voting for women and television, Doretta Virginia Konesey, or Dee, as she was known to her friends, lived through a century that changed the world.  Dee was very much a woman of her times.

Doretta was the only child of Norman and Elma Oliver.  Although she was born and grew up in New Jersey, Dee came from a long line of Delawareans. She spent her summers at her grandparents’ farm outside of Harrington, where her cousins looked forward to the “new ideas” she would bring from the city.  Her cousin Irene told us how they all looked forward to the latest fashions, hairstyles and make-up Dee would bring in the summers.  She continued to dress beautifully, hair and make-up perfect for the rest of her life.  A long time friend of her sons recalled that “When I think of Doretta, I think of a perfectly coiffed, classically dressed, lovely woman - the matriarch of her family.”

Dee graduated from high school in New Jersey, and continued her education in accounting.   She married Joseph (Joe) Konesey in 1939.  Kenneth was born in 1942.   After WWII they, along with her parents, returned to Harrington to stay.  Joe started several businesses and his last, Brass Sales, has been in business since 1950, run first by his sons, and now by his grandson, Justin. 

Doretta worked as a bookkeeper at L.D. Caulk in Milford until Jay was born in 1950.   Then, like most women of her generation, she became a stay-at-home mom.  She was a member of the Harrington Century Club and Asbury Methodist Church. She raised her sons, was a scout leader and enjoyed skiing with the family, bridge and golf with her friends and traveling with her husband.

But what Dee enjoyed most of all was Rehoboth Beach, where the family spent their summers.  Dick Catts set up her umbrella daily on Olive Ave., where she and the boys, and Joe on weekends, joined their friends all summer.   She loved the ocean, strolling on the Boardwalk in the evenings and taking in the sights and sounds and the people.

Dee was devoted to her family, not just her sons and their families, but her parents, her cousins and numerous relatives.  She was a good friend and neighbor.

The world changed around her and she changed with it.  She voted her entire life, she drove until she was 98, used a cell phone, and was a voracious reader.

She is survived by her son Kenneth (Jan) and their sons Adam, Rob and Josh, her son Jay (Mary K) and their son Justin (Heather) and great grandchildren Savannah and Jarred and her much loved stepchildren Judy Henderson and Jeff Manz.  She was predeceased by her husband of 47 years, Joseph, and her second husband Howard Manz.

Dee died on March 21, 2021, just a few months before her 107th birthday.  Services at Hollywood Cemetery will be private.   Friends are invited to join the family in a celebration of her life at the Carlisle Fire Hall on Sunday, June 13, at 1 p.m.

Please contact the family if you are planning to attend.


Celebration of Life
June 13, 2021

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Carlisle Fire Company
615 N. W. Front Street
Milford, DE 19963

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