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Obituaries

Jeanne M. Dorsey, musicologist at Divine Life Church of Absolute Oneness, dies at 104

Jeanne M. Dorsey, a retired Divine Life Church of Absolute Oneness musicologist and centenarian who filled notebooks with her spiritual meditations, died of pneumonia July 6 at Symphony Manor in Roland Park. The former longtime Govans resident was 104.

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The former Jeanne Marguerite Thomas, daughter of James Bosley Thomas, a Davison Chemical Co. chemist, and Marguerite Wilson Maas, a concert pianist, was born in Baltimore, one of six children, and raised on Stoney Run Lane in Roland Park. She was also the granddaughter of Louis P. Maas, president of Armiger Jewelers on Charles Street.

After graduating from Eastern High School, she earned a bachelor’s degree in 1939 from Goucher College, where she majored in music and mathematics.

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A deeply spiritual person, Mrs. Dorsey was raised a Methodist and, when she was 19, converted to Roman Catholicism because of her interest in mysticism and the lives of the saints, family members said.

During World War II, she met her future husband, Thomas Lee Dorsey Sr., in an electronics class at Bendix Radio on East Joppa Road in Towson. He was the chief final testing technician for radio-direction finders that were used in bombers, and she instructed the employees who were building the radio-direction finders.

They married in 1944 and moved in 1949 to a home on Lyman Avenue in Govans, where the couple raised their six children. Her husband, who later owned downtown Baltimore’s Park Radio, a stereo store. He later passed it on to two sons who continue to operate the business, now known as Soundscape, on West Cold Spring Lane.

After Mr. Dorsey died in 2001, Mrs. Dorsey continued living independently in her Lyman Avenue home until 2018, when she moved to her daughter’s home in Ruxton.

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After her children were grown, Mrs. Dorsey joined the Divine Life Church of Absolute Oneness on Falls Road near Lake Falls, where she was the musicologist for many years, preparing the music for Sunday liturgies, family members said.

Mrs. Dorsey also compiled extensive notes on her studies and meditations on God, spirituality and the afterlife, and managed to fill many notebooks with her thoughts, family members said.

She retired as the church musicologist in 2016.

“Reading was a big hobby, and she was interested in reading about medicine, and because she was so spiritual, she was on a higher plane than most people,” said a son, John R. Dorsey of Mayfield.

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Mr. Dorsey said his mother gained centenarian status because she was “very careful in what she ate. She also did not drink or smoke, and had very good genes. She only gave up driving when she was 93.”

No services are planned at this time, her son said.

In addition to her son, she is survived by three other sons, Charles B. Dorsey of Wood-Walker, Edward W. Dorsey of Towson and Richard W. Dorsey of Mount Washington; a daughter, Louise M. Dorsey of Ruxton; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. A grandson, Ryan L. Dorsey, is a member of the Baltimore City Council from the 3rd District.


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