With the help of a midwife, Dorothy Mae Hall was born on August 15, 1941 in Dawson, Georgia to her mom, Bernice Telfair. She was an only child but truly received the benefits of a large and loving family village. She was raised from infancy to age 5 with the help of her Uncle Dester and his wife Minnie in Westchester and Hartford, Connecticut. Thereafter, Dorothy and her mom traveled to Pennsylvania to live with her beloved Aunt Ozella and Uncle James and their only child Jamesie (who was 5 years older than Dorothy) for 8 years. Though Dorothy and Jamesie were cousins and each only children individually, they formed a close sibling relationship and have spoken fondly of teasings and adventures during their upbringing together.
Dorothy and her mom then traveled further north to Brooklyn, New York and lived near her Uncle Luther (Uncle Boy) and wife where she was introduced to yet more cousins (Irene, Lyzell and Adolphus) and other extended family.
In Brooklyn, Dorothy met and married Edgar Ballance and from their union four children were born: Edgar Jr., Rosalind, Lenny and Vernice. After the dissolution of their relationship and learning to juggle single motherhood, Dorothy later found happiness and love with Robert Felton Yates and his large family also became hers. Years later, Dorothy’s 5th and last child, Martene was born. After moving to Downtown Brooklyn’s Fort Greene section, Dorothy attended training for Dietary Work and began a career in the Dietary Department of Interfaith Medical Center for more than 20 years.
Dorothy was jubilant to follow her eldest son, Deacon Ballance, in membership to her beloved home of worship – Institutional International Ministries where she attended under the leadership of the late Bishop Carl E. Williams Jr and then his son Pastor Alex L. Williams. It is under their fine leadership that Dorothy recommitted her life to Christ. She intensely desired to get back to her church home.
Dorothy was indeed a gorgeous collection of all the love and support she received from her large village paying it forward in her gentle manner and in her generous deeds. It is no surprise that many younger persons in need were drawn to that spirit. She readily opened her warm home to many who migrated from the South, helping to give them shelter, love and encouragement as they established themselves. That love and kindness poured over to her multiple stepchildren who speak so highly about her care and kindness toward them. The same loving traits are consistently relayed from her children’s friends and schoolmates, as well as from her neighbors and coworkers. She laughed easily and often – and it was simply contagious.
Dorothy was well- known for her cooking skills and love of eating. Her southern roots demanded that she always had a serving available for whomever may unexpectedly come to visit. She was well-known for her fried chicken, potato and macaroni salads, chicken and dumplings, sweet potato pies and southern cuts of all types of meats. If you were anywhere in the vicinity, you could not refuse a seat at her table. And if you were a fan of her NY Sports teams, you got a double serving! Dorothy loved watching Sports – Basketball, Baseball and Football. Though a usually quiet and reserved lady, she could be loud and quite boisterous during any game viewing.
Dorothy loved her family fiercely and fought a valiant fight through health ailments to continue her time together with them. She leaves them to cherish memories and celebrate and give honor to her life as she prepares for their ultimate reunion – Children: Edgar Ballance, Rosalind Murphy, Lenny Ballance, Vernice Ballance and Martene Ballance Grandchildren: Devon Williams, Charles Murphy Jr., Jordan Andrews and Jaden Davis and 2 Great Granchildren: Kaydin Murphy and Quintyn Murphy as well as 2 loved Grandaughters–in- Law: Shirnaree Evans-Williams and Shante Mckoy- Murphy. She also leaves a host of stepchildren, cousins, nieces, nephews, friends, neighbors, former colleagues and members of the Institutional International Ministries whom she loved all like family.
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