One Small Voice
by Laura McGaffey
Articles originally published in "The Voice in the Desert"

Private Concert
Dorothy Dinner

August 2004

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Recently I had the privelege of attending a private concert in the home of Dorothy Dinner, a retired church organist, and had the chance to find out about her fascinating life. Dorothy enchanted me as she played traditional Christian hymns on the lovingly cared for piano and organ in her music room. Although she claimed to be out of practice since retiring 4 years ago as organist of the Willcox Methodist Church, I was amazed at her command of the keyboard. Her long fingers caressed the keys and I was transported by memories of shafts of warm colored sunlight streaming in through stained glass windows; of the scent of lillies tickling my nose; of the murmur of joyful blessings whispered between old friends.

Thanksgiving 2000 was the day Dorothy retired after 20 years as the Willcox Methodist Church organist. Three months earlier the congregation had honored her with a party to celebrate her 90th birthday!

Dorothy was born August 31, 1910 and grew up in Detroit. When her mother bought a piano they both started lessons. At 24 Dorothy graduated from the Detroit Conservatory of Music and joined the American Guild of Organists, an organization with which she is still associated. She studied both piano and organ and has played both instruments all her life.

Dorothy worked as a secretary for 33 years. She and her husband, Milford, retired to Sunsites-Pearce in the 1970's and Dorothy eventually accepted the position of organist at two local churches, playing at the Benson Seventh Day Adventist on Saturdays and the Willcox Methodist on Sundays.

Now a widow, osteoporosis forced Dorothy to retire from her organist positions and causes her a great deal of pain. She now relies on a walker. Yet she graciously offered me a cup of tea and then proceeded to thrill me with her musical talents.

When Dorothy turns 94 this year on August 31, I will be honored to offer my good wishes and thanks to a woman with so much talent and grace.