, Gloucester, MA

July 17, 2013

Dorothy (Hull) Surpitski, 91

GLOUCESTER — Dorothy “Dot” (Hull) Surpitski, 91, a longtime resident of Den Mar Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Rockport, formerly of Ipswich and Hamilton, passed away peacefully on Sunday, July 14, 2013, at Seacoast Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Gloucester.

Dot grew up in Ipswich and settled in Hamilton with her loving late husband of 64 years, Victor “Vic” Surpitski, where they raised their son, daughter, and Dot’s niece. The couple returned to Ipswich in later years.

Dot was a traditional homemaker who, in spite of the rheumatoid arthritis that afflicted her hands and body, was an avid seamstress with a passion for needlepoint and crewel embroidery. She loved to cook, and baking was her forte. Friends and family coveted her perfected cheesecake, banana bread, Tollhouse cookies, and her legendary Harvey Wallbanger cake with pink frosting.

Unequivocally, Dot’s most notable personality trait was her love of, and gift for communicating. She was a prolific letter and card writer, habitually including newspaper and magazine clippings to emphasize a point, delight, or inform recipients. She was a voracious reader and knowledge-seeker, gladly engaging in thoughtful conversation around any topic. Her favorite subject was the human condition. As a resident of Den Mar, Dot treasured the activities and outings; from Trivial Pursuit to restaurant lunches, annual trips to the Topsfield Fair and especially the Christmas Ho Ho Hotline. Dot will be remembered by all for her sharp mind, curiosity, and ability to make those around her feel unique.

She is survived by her son, Douglas Surpitski and his wife, Margaret, of Schodack, N.Y.; her niece, Dianna Johnson and husband, Mathew Johnson, of Powhatan, Va.; granddaughters, Lisa Rigsby of Gloucester and Rebecca Healy and husband, Daniel, of Bennington, Vt.; grandsons, Timothy Surpitski of Beekmantown, N.Y., and Theodore Surpitski of Schenectady, N.Y.; great-grandchildren, Lucille Healy and Finnian Healy, both of Bennington, Vt.; and many Surpitski nieces and nephews and their families. She was the mother of the late Joan Surpitski, formerly of Ipswich.

A special thanks to the wonderful staff and volunteers, current and former, at Den Mar who Dot considered as more than care workers, as well as the outstanding staff at Addison Gilbert Hospital, especially the Steele Unit. And deepest gratitude to the nurses and support staff at Seacoast and Hospice of the North Shore who ensured that Dot was able to depart this earth in comfort and with dignity.

ARRANGEMENTS: Visiting hours will be held Monday, July 22, from 5 to 8 p.m., at the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home, 6 High St., Ipswich with a service at 6:45 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to bring photos and memorabilia to share their remembrance. For directions and or to send a condolence, please visit In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Den Mar Activities Fund, Attn: Sue Olson, Den Mar Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, 44 South Street, Rockport, MA 01966.