Dorothy L. Olander Jones passed away on April 16 at the age of 96. For more than 50 years she enjoyed living on Sanibel Island where her husband Les Jones used to say "Every day is a beautiful day on Sanibel."
Dorothy, who was affectionately known as "Dode," was born in Peoria, Ill., the daughter of the late Fred and Arlene Olander. She attended Bradley University in Peoria before marrying Les, who had worked for her father at Pabst Brewing Company and later said he had "waited for Dorothy to grow up so I could marry her." They began visiting Sanibel in the 1950s, attracted to the pristine island with its great fishing and shelling, and then decided to leave Illinois winters behind and move there permanently by 1960.
Dorothy's resilient spirit and cheerfulness were well suited for her early no-frills life on the island, where water for drinking and cooking had to be hauled in, Bailey's General Store stocked only basic necessities, and the ferry rides could not be rushed. A devoted wife, she was also a terrific cook, a great baker (her Swedish butter cookies and Pond Lily Cake were legendary), an expert at catching and cleaning fish (thanks to early guidance from her dear friend Esperanza Woodring), and a generous dispatcher of "care packages" shipped to fortunate family members up north. She enjoyed sharing the wildlife and natural beauty that is abundant on Sanibel and never tired of watching the dolphins and osprey frolic in Tarpon Bay.
She especially delighted in watching the annual return of nesting pairs of osprey that would come to the platform on her property to raise their chicks. Dorothy loved the people and the environment of Sanibel and continually expressed gratitude for the daily gift of her life on the island.
She was predeceased by her husband Les Jones; her brother Donald Olander; and her cousin Carol Friskey Freeley (nee Hamann). She is survived by her sister-in-law Melba Olander of Brandon, Fla.; her nephews Edward (Pat) Olander of St. Louis, Mo., and James (Martha McKee) Olander of East Windsor, N.J.; her niece, Linda Olander (Doug) Hunter of Parrish, Fla.; her cousins, Roger Friskey of Baltimore, Md.; Elizabeth Friskey (Thomas) Swann of Wilmette, Ill.; and Ann Friskey (Mark) Stewart of Okemos, Mich. She also leaves behind many other devoted extended family, longtime friends, and phenomenal caregivers.
A private memorial service will be held. Contributions may be made in her name to "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society, P.O. Box 565, Sanibel, FL 33957.