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Dorothy Elwell

Traveler, bicycle enthusiast, seamstress

Dorothy Gwendolyn Elwell died November 18 at the age of 89, surrounded by her loving family in a time of prayer, thanks and song. 

Dorothy was born on November 24, 1929 in Long Beach, California to Lloyd and Constance Hendricks. She grew up with brothers Osborne and Robert. It was Osborne who brought home the friend who would become her husband, Charles Elwell, whom she married in 1949 after a six-week engagement. 

The couple moved to Claremont, where Mr. Elwell was in college, and made their forever home on Seventh Street, where they raised their children Robert, Richard, Mary and Connie.

The family was widely involved with everything Claremont, as their dear friends and family would attest. Ms. Elwell was a fixture at the college swimming pools, and later was an avid member of the Claremont Senior Bike Group. She biked everywhere, including a memorable trip to China. In addition, she was a gifted seamstress and taught sewing and pattern drafting for many years in the Claremont public schools.

Most important to her, however, were her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and her God, her family shared. “She was a role model to all of us and her children and family indeed call her ‘blessed,’” they added.

Ms. Elwell was predeceased by her husband of 50 years, Charles Elwell; son, Richard Elwell; grandson, Shane Todd; and great-granddaughter, Abigail Sinclair.

She is survived by her children, Robert (Alice) Elwell, Mary (Rick) Todd, Connie (Andy) Taylor and her late son Richard’s widow, Marty Elwell; grandchildren Katie (Gerry) Castellanos, Christina (Manuel) Villegas, Roston (Dani) Elwell, Dorothy (Shawn) Tarcon, Robert (Danielle) Elwell, Marion Elwell, John Todd, Chet (Corynne) Todd, Dylan (Ryann) Todd, Ling (Alise) Sinclair, Holly Sinclair, Lloyd Sinclair, Everett Taylor and Elise Taylor; and 12 wonderful great-grandchildren.  

“Her death has left a void in our lives, but her life remains a legacy we will always cherish,” her family shared. 

A viewing is scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, November 24 at Todd Memorial Chapel, 325 N. Indian Hill Blvd., Claremont. Funeral services will take place Monday, November 25 at the same location.