Floral 22

Dorothy Ann Crawford Barnes

January 13, 1941 ~ December 19, 2021 (age 80)


On January 13, 1941, Robert and Annie Crawford welcomed their fifth baby and third daughter, Dorothy Ann, in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

It is no coincidence that a woman born in a city known for its high altitudes, would live a life full of wonder and achievement. Dorothy Ann Crawford Barnes was the epitome of a Renaissance Woman.

As a child, Dorothy’s parents decided to make the big move from the comforts of southern living to the northeast, as there were greater jobs and opportunities. In 1942, the Crawford’s relocated to the city of East Orange, New Jersey. Dorothy was adored by her parents and older siblings. She came to know the love of a younger sibling when her parents welcomed their sixth child, her baby brother, Charles to the family. Being a younger member of any family has some great advantages– in addition to being surrounded by love, Dorothy witnessed her parents' hard work and the work ethics of her older siblings. This, no doubt, created a love of learning and a desire to dream with intention in order to build the life that she desired. Well... this, and a stubborn, strong-willed nature!

Dorothy began to chart her own path when as an adolescent, she made the decision to leave her family’s Baptist tradition and convert to Catholicism. Her dear friend Agnes Smith, introduced her to the Roman Catholic Church and she was inspired by the experience.  As a teenager, Dorothy was baptized and later confirmed at Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church in Newark, New Jersey.  While her mother was fully supportive, it took her father a little while to embrace that his daughter made such a decision. Eventually, he came around to understand and support her convictions. This undoubtedly played a role in her ability to respect the decisions of others throughout her life, even if she did not agree or understand. That was her; sweet to the core. A gem of a woman, who never knew a stranger, but always left you feeling better about yourself after an encounter. Dorothy was a devout Catholic for the rest of her life and would share prayers of her faith with her family, as she knew that everyone agreed on this fact: as long as it was leading up to Almighty God, it was all good.

Dorothy lived in Montclair, New Jersey, where she was an active communicant at Our Lady of Mt.

Carmel for over twenty years. It was her request to be brought back to this church for her final service.

In keeping with her determination to be the architect of her life, Dorothy took every opportunity to advance from a young age. While a student at Newark's Weequahic High School, she was a member of the Booster Club, worked at the school library, as well as in the guidance office, sang in the school choir, was on the library staff, and was chairman of the prom decorating committee. It seemed as though she was determined to solidify herself as one of Newark's most well-rounded students. Dorothy displayed her athletic abilities as well; she was on the fencing team, played basketball, volleyball and badminton.

It was said by her parents and siblings that, “Dorothy is brilliant.”

She began her career as an administrative assistant after graduating from Weequahic High School in 1959 at RCA (Radio Corporation of America). During this time, she brie y studied at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology, where she was equally as studious and involved as in her days at Weequahic High School.

Dorothy continued her career as an administrative assistant at ITT, (International Telephone and Telegraph), where she was one of the first African-American employees to hold the position as Senior Administrative Assistant, a major position that came with a great deal of responsibility and respect.

Her trailblazing did not go unnoticed by her loved ones; nor did it take any time away from them. As a member of a large family, there are always countless stories to share. If you’re fortunate, there is also an abundance of love to give. Dorothy was adored by her family, and she shared that adoration and overwhelming love with her niece, nephews and children of her closest friends. She was a dedicated and devoted aunt. Trips to see the Beatles movie, visit the Empire State Building and buying the latest records were just a few of the sweet memories that she made with her niece and nephews.  Once they grew up and started families of their own, she was overjoyed at the chance to shower even more love onto their children. Every niece, nephew, great-niece and great-nephew (and eventually their children as well) received an annual birthday and Christmas card with a check made out to them. Of course, kids would look forward to receiving that envelope in the mail and would give their “Aunt Dottie” hugs, kisses and thanks through a card or a call. The love for her family ran deep.

In keeping with her style of renaissance living, Dorothy was a frequent traveler– making regular trips to Bermuda and The Bahamas. She and her best group of girlfriends would also cruise the seas to distant lands and dance the nights away. At home, she enjoyed backyard barbecues with her sisters, and her brother-in-law, Donald, at their respective Scotch Plains, New Jersey homes.

Dorothy was a gorgeous and talented woman who designed and sewed the gowns of her bridesmaids, as well as her own gown when she wed Jimmy Barnes in 1969. After two years, they decided to part ways, but Dorothy lived a life of resilience, not resentment.

She stayed abreast of the latest news, life hacks and pop culture (LL Cool J was one of her favorite artists)! With her sense of humor and gift of innovation, she merged classic ways of thinking with new ideas. She was a voracious reader, and would send her family newspaper articles that discussed issues which she felt should be addressed to those who may have not been aware of what was happening socially or politically, both at home and abroad. Her love for information matched her gift of insight, which she often shared poetically. Dorothy would write poems that touched the soul, as they came from her heart.

A Bladder cancer diagnosis in 1998 would be a moment in time that would cause Dorothy to go harder than ever before. She met that challenge and beat it like a champion! An extension of life being the prize. Once in remission, (which would last for 20 years), she retired to Las Vegas in 1999 with her love and partner of over thirty years, Andrew Jackson.

Upon her relocation to Las Vegas, Nevada, Dorothy immediately became a communicant of the St. Joseph, Husband of Mary, Roman Catholic Church, where she developed a group of friends to whom she was devoted. She often spoke fondly of them and appreciated their love and support.

The caveat to any life, whether lived as an adventure, or a mere existence, is that it must come to an end.

The Christmas season was a time of year that, like many, Dorothy immensely enjoyed. On the morning of December 19, 2021, Dorothy Ann Crawford Barnes was enveloped by an everlasting love, wrapped in the arms of her Savior, Jesus Christ.

She is preceded in death, but welcomed in heaven by her parents, Robert and Annie (Oliver) Crawford; three sisters, Jeraline Crawford- Strickland, Linda Crawford -Wright and Alease Crawford- Hilliard; and two brothers Robert Crawford, Jr. and Charles Crawford.

Affectionately known as “Aunt Dottie”, she leaves to cherish her memory: Three nephews and a niece, Bishop Donald Hilliard, Jr. (Phyllis), John Strickland, Jr., Denise Hilliard-Reid and Shawn Thompson. Their children, Leah Joy Alease Hilliard, Ariel Jamese Reid Viesta (John), Donald Robert Reid, Charisma Joy Denise Hilliard and Destiny Joy Thema Hilliard-Thomas (Joseph), a great-grandnephew, Joseph Donald Thomas, a great-grand niece, Gianna Alease Viesta, her core group of girlfriends, Doris Koonce, Gwendolyn Ausby, Louise Robinson, Deloris McKoy, Vivian Ellis, and countless family and friends that cherish great memories and great times.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dorothy Ann Crawford Barnes, please visit our floral store.


January 4, 2022

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church
94 Pine Street
Montclair, NJ 07042

Requiem Mass
January 4, 2022

11:00 AM
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church
94 Pine Street
Montclair, NJ 07042

Video is available for this event


Dorothy Crawford Barnes Memorial Fund c/o Heywood Financial
P.O. Box 211, Newton Square PA 19073

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