Dorothy Edna Gentsch NeSmith Chenchick passed away peacefully on August 27, 2019 due to complications from cancer and old age. She was 96 years old. She was born in Newark, New Jersey on July 17, 1923 to Frank Albert Gentsch and Ruth Alice Cowen. She was raised in Roselle Park, New Jersey. Dorothy loved to dance and always wanted to be a New York Rockette. Instead, she married at 16 Joseph Q. NeSmith and had four children. He was in the USMC so she traveled all over the country. In fact, she was with him at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked on December 7, 1941. She learned to hula and performed for many audiences in Hawaii. Dorothy was active in many community activities. When living in California her husband retired from the Marines and became a Coroner Investigator for Orange County. At the same time Dorothy began her career in the beauty industry. In the 1960’s she was owner of one of the most prominent beauty salons in Orange County called the Hairbender’s located in Orange. Later the salon included a fashion boutique. Although not a hairdresser, Dorothy used her expertise to start a hair fashion magazine which was sold nationally until 1973. After her adventure in publishing she went to Santa Ana College and received an Associate of Arts Degree with an emphasis on nutrition. She opened a successful health food store in Laguna Beach, California called the Vitality Shoppe which she owned for 14 years. She retired and moved to Las Vegas where she joined a tap dance group in Sun City where she lived. She divorced in 1990 and remarried in 1992 Carl Chenchick.
Dorothy loved dancing, yoga, golf, painting, nutrition, reading, people and traveling. She has traveled all over except Australia. During her travels in Spain she spent the day with Salvador Dali. She had a daughter active in politics, and as a result has been the guest at two Presidential Inaugurations (President Reagan and President Bush) and attended the National Republican Convention in 1988. She is born on the same day as Phyllis Diller and won the Phyllis Diller look-alike contest sponsored by a television station.
She moved to Spanish Fork, Utah in 2005 with her second husband to be closer to family. In Utah she joined the dance group “Jean’s Golden Girls” and performed with them until 2019. While in the group she did solo performances as Dolly Parton.
Dorothy was active in many protestant churches but later joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She is survived by three of her four children Joseph Quentin NeSmith, Jr. (wife Dorothy), Nancy Pearl NeSmith, and Lucille NeSmith Gull (husband George), 10 grandchildren, 24 of her 26 great-grandchildren and two 2nd great-grandchildren. . Her 2nd child Patricia Ann Suchta preceded her in death as well as both of her husbands, siblings, parents, and two great-grandchildren.
Dorothy will be cremated and a Graveside Service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 7, 2019 at the Spanish Fork City Cemetery, 420 South 400 East, Spanish Fork, Utah, Friends and Family are welcome to attend. Our special thanks to Charity and Heather from Maple Creek Home Health & Hospice for their excellent care.
Condolences may be expressed to the family on this page.