Dorothy E. Ohl

November 5, 1922 ~ May 16, 2020 (age 97)



Dorothy E. (Doolittle) Ohl, 97, passed away on May 16, 2020, at Elmwood at the Shawhan, in Tiffin.

Dorothy Doolittle was born in Williams County, Ohio, and graduated from Pioneer High School in 1940. She attended Heidelberg College (now Heidelberg University) as a piano major until 1942 when she married Ferris E. Ohl. Over the next five years, Mrs. Ohl lived on many different army bases while Ferris served in World War II. During that time, she completed her Bachelor of Science degree at Texas State College for Women in 1946. Dorothy continued to study piano with Robert Goldsand at Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.

At the end of the war, Dorothy and Ferris returned to Tiffin to work at Heidelberg University. Dorothy Ohl began as a part-time piano instructor at Heidelberg. She also served as the accompanist for the Tiffinian Male Chorus and the annual community Messiah performances. After Dorothy earned her Master of Arts degree at Columbia University, Teachers College, in 1955, she became a full-time Instructor of Music at Heidelberg University, where she taught piano. In 1965, she earned a Professional Diploma from Columbia University, Teachers College. Mrs. Ohl became the first woman at Heidelberg University to earn the title of full Professor. She toured with Dr. Ohl and the Heidelberg Concert Choir on all domestic tours and five European tours. Dorothy and her daughter Vicki Ohl performed many concerts together featuring music for two pianos. Dorothy also performed with the Heidelberg Faculty Trio, and she served as the piano accompanist for many visiting soloists. Mrs. Ohl published choral compositions, piano pieces, and she helped Dr. Ohl arrange and publish choral compositions. In addition, Dorothy was the church organist for 20 years at Trinity United Church of Christ.

Mrs. Ohl retired from Heidelberg in 1985, but she continued to serve as a part-time staff accompanist for faculty, professional soloists, and students until 2008. Dorothy enjoyed playing golf, tending to her rose garden, watching sports, playing piano, and, of course, spending time with her family. In the community, she was a member of Trinity United Church of Christ, the Penthouse Club, and Mohawk Golf Club. At Heidelberg, she and Dr. Ohl were active members of the Heidelberg Fellows Association, and as a college student, Dorothy was a member of the Philalethean Society.

Dorothy was born on November 5, 1922, in Pioneer, Ohio, to Luther Lee Doolittle and Flossie (Double) Doolittle. She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Rachel Doolittle, and her husband of 75 years, Dr. Ferris E. Ohl.

Dorothy Ohl is survived by her two daughters, Vicki Ohl, Tiffin, and Laura Ross (Jerry), Longwood, Florida. Also surviving are grandchildren Susan Stetz (Fred), Columbus, Ohio, Ben Braley (Kate), Roswell, Georgia, and Kevin Ross, New York, New York. In addition, Dorothy is survived by four great grandchildren: Seth, Eliana, Hayden, and Harper.

A memorial service will be held at a later date. Arrangements are being made through Engle-Shook Funeral Home & Crematory in Tiffin.

Memorial contributions may be made to Heidelberg University in support of the Ferris and Dorothy Ohl Prize for graduating Bachelor of Music students.

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