Delores E. Dorsey, a retired high school guidance counselor who earlier had been a foreign language teacher, died of pancreatic cancer Monday at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The longtime Pikesville resident was 71.
The former Delores Elizabeth Alston was born in Littleton, N.C., and moved with her family to East Baltimore as a young child.
She was a 1953 graduate of Frederick Douglass High School and attended what is now Morgan State University, where she majored in French and Spanish.
After earning her bachelor's degree in 1957, she traveled to Belgium, where she worked as a guide at the 1958 World's Fair in Brussels. She later attended Atlanta University, where she earned a master's degree in education in the early 1960s.
In 1961, Mrs. Dorsey began teaching French and Spanish in Baltimore public schools and later became a guidance counselor at Edmondson High School, where she worked for many years.
In addition to her work in city public schools, Mrs. Dorsey was senior guidance counselor for nearly 30 years for the Upward Bound Program at Gilman School.
"This was a federal college preparatory program for high school students from low-income families and high school students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor's degree," said her daughter, Dr. Cheryl Lynn Dorsey of Washington.
"She really believed that education was the steppingstone to a better life and future. And she was fully committed to having her students get an education and on the right path," she said.
After retiring in 1990 from Edmondson, she moved to Kawasaki, Japan, where she spent the next year teaching English at an international school.
"She lived life to the fullest and touched many lives with her irrepressible spirit, limitless energy, and boundless caring and warmth," Dr. Dorsey said.
Mrs. Dorsey was a member of the Baltimore-Kawasaki Sister City Committee and was a charter member of the Golden Soror of the Rho Xi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She was also an active member of the Valleybrook Improvement Association and participated in Citizens on Patrol.
She was a world traveler and an avid reader of mystery novels.
"She loved the slots and blackjack and traveled often to Atlantic City and Las Vegas," her daughter said.
Her husband of 44 years, Maurice Snowden Dorsey, a retired educator and the former principal of Clifton Park and Pimlico junior high schools, died last year.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. today at the Loring Byers Funeral Home, 8728 Liberty Road, Randallstown.
Also surviving are a sister, Loretta Wells of Baltimore; and many nieces and nephews.