Dorothy Marie Nussbaum Hayes Mion, 81, of Camden, died Monday, March 23, in Columbia at PalmettoHealth Heart Hospital. She was born in Washington, DC, and lived for most of her life in Glen Echo, MD. She spent many years managing the business side of the studio at their Glen Echo home of her former husband, artist Pierre Mion, and then became secretary of Kenwood Country Club, in Bethesda, MD, after a brief period at US News & World Report.
“Dotti” as she was affectionately known, enjoyed a wide range of interests, including auto racing, an enthusiasm of her first husband, Charles Hayes; traveling throughout Europe with her Mion in-laws, Philadelphia architect Bernardo Mion and his wife, Katherine; summering at the shore, particular at Duck on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and at the beach house she kept for some years on Oak Island, SC. She also spent time with the artist Norman Rockwell, frequently visiting with her husband Pierre at the Rockwell home and studio, where she took her first glider ride. It was during this period that Rockwell depicted Pierre and Dotti in a portrait, one of her most cherished possessions.
In her youth she was raised around horses, as her adoptive father had been a jockey. Her adoptive mother was also an artist, and Dotti grew up with an appreciation for the arts. Reared in a rural area, she acquired an abiding love of animals, and was an adoring owner of several Yorkshire terriers and amiable cats.
Her birth on Valentine’s Day in 1934 was recorded in The Washington Post in a classified ad placing her for adoption by her mother, who could not afford to keep her during the depths of the Depression. As an adult, she reconnected with her large extended original family, discovering 10 additional siblings, with whom she retained a close connection throughout their lives. For years she was a parishioner at the Church of the Little Flower on Massachusetts Avenue in DC.
Her move four years ago to the historic town of Camden, was to reside closer to her niece, Jennie Bixby Estridge and her husband, Robbie, and her great niece Emma Grace Estridge all of Kershaw. Among other survivors are her son, Charles David Hayes, III of Germantown, MD; a daughter Nicole Mion Reynolds of Payson, AZ; three grandsons and one granddaughter; and another niece, Bonnie Lanier and her husband, William “Bill” of Westminster, SC and two great nieces, Kelsey Matheson and Jessica Segear; as well as her former husbands; and her dear friends, Angela Mernone of Potomac, MD, and Julie Elkins Dear of Woodbury, NJ.
A gathering to celebrate her life will be held Thursday, March 26, at 5:00 p.m. in Baker Funeral Home Chapel, 210 E. Hilton St., Kershaw, SC. The Rev. Bryant Fersner will officiate.
Memorials may be made to the Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County, 810 Lyttleton Street, Camden, SC 29020.
Baker Funeral Home (bakerfunerals.com) is serving the Mion family.