Obituaries » Delores Gauthier
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A Celebration of Life will be held on October 16, 2022, at 3:00 pm in Dalton Center of Western Michigan University, 1300 Theatre Dr, Kalamazoo. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Kalamazoo County Democratic Party, where she volunteered many hours, or the Kalamazoo Civic Auditorium.
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Delores “Dee” Gauthier passed away on September 14, 2022 from a brief, yet very aggressive battle with colon cancer. It was a perfect life in May 2022… then the big C.
Dee was born January 31, 1949 in Carlinville, Illinois to Norma (Haycraft) Roberts and Dale Roberts. She was married to Richard Justice from 1968 to 1982.
Dee and Brendan were the love of each other’s lives and were married in 1989, and Dee put up with him all these years.
Dee is survived by her loving husband, Brendan; four children: Stasia (Justice) Taverna; Jeremy Justice and wife, Tammy; Kent Gauthier and wife, Kim; and Genevieve Gauthier. Dee was also survived by seven grandchildren: Austin, Alex, Carter, Hayden, Addison, Graham, and Claire; and one sister, Donna (Roberts) Benge, of Quitman, Texas.
She was preceded in death by her grandson, Preston Taverna.
Dee attended Eastern Illinois University for her undergraduate work and the University of Illinois for her Masters and Doctoral studies. She taught music education in the School of Music at Western Michigan University for 32 years and also conducted Cantus Femina (women’s choir). Her choir was invited to perform at various venues around the country and was recognized for excellence by numerous musical organizations.
There are hundreds of music teachers around the country that have been inspired by her training. I (Brendan) have read so many posts from students about how empowering and inspirational she was. Many consider her their college “mom,” because Dr. G saw in them things they themselves did not see, and thanked her for advocating and championing for them. She took unrelenting joy in each of her choirs. She has left an amazing legacy, and I couldn’t be more proud to have been married to her for over 33 years.
One of Dee’s favorite activities was performing on stage at the Kalamazoo Civic Auditorium. She had many roles over the years, and she received an Excellence in Performance award for her role in Ripcord in the 2018-2019 season.
Dee and Brendan enjoyed domestic and international travel together throughout their marriage, and most recently delighted in traveling around the country in their RV, affectionately known as “Arvida.”
Dee Dee has truly earned an infinite number of gold stars on her eternal helmet.