She was born April 18, 1924, to Edward J. and Katherine E. Tesdell of Denver. She attended schools in Denver, graduating from South High School and later graduating from the University of Colorado in Boulder, in 1944, with a commercial art degree. Dorothy was also a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority.
In December 1944, Dorothy married James E. Downes, Jr., of Summit, N.J. The ceremony took place in Denver, where the couple then resided.
Dorothy worked as a commercial artist for Karman Western Wear and Western Horseman magazine, while caring for her family: her husband, three sons and the family dog.
In August 1969, Dorothy and James Jr. moved the family to Cody, where James had accepted the position of credit manager for Husky Oil Company. Dorothy had always had a fascination with crafts of all types, and in 1974 she opened the Craft Nook, a retail store for crafting supplies, as well as classes. After 10 successful years, the Craft Nook closed in 1984, the same year James Jr. retired from Husky.
With all three sons leading their own lives, the couple planned to play golf and travel.
Dorothy and James Jr. were original members of the Olive Glenn Golf & Country Club in Cody; both were golf enthusiasts “to the max.” They played in leagues, club tournaments, Western Seniors Golf Association tournaments and many times during their annual fall trips to Hawaii.
A history buff, especially the history of the American West and particularly the Plains Indians, Dorothy was very involved with the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody (now the Buffalo Bill Center of the West), which houses the Whitney Western Art Museum, Plains Indian Museum, Cody Firearms Museum and many traveling exhibitions about the American West. For many years, Dorothy guided groups as a docent through the Cody Firearms Museum.
Dorothy will be remembered for her loving kindness, sense of humor, gentleness and creativity.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband, James Jr., in 2002, and sister, Betty Jane (Tesdell) Minshall in 1970.
She is survived by sons J. Edward III (Pamela) of Douglas, Donald T. of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Richard J. (Maribeth) of La Quinta, Calif.; grandchildren Amy Carol (Downes) Westfall of St. Louis, Mo., and her husband Neil, Andrew (Cilia) of Powell, Riley and Sydney of La Quinta, Calif.; great-grandchildren Gabriel, Alyssa, Aiden and Serenity; and brother-in-law Richard H. (Jean) of Ft. Myers, Fla.
Memorial donations may be made to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, 720 Sheridan Ave., Cody, WY, 82414, or to the Cody Recreation Foundation/Olive Glenn Improvement Project, P.O. Box 1531, Cody, WY, 82414.
A memorial service is scheduled at 2 p.m. Thursday, July 25, at Christ Episcopal Church, 825 Simpson Ave., in Cody.
Remembrances may be posted on the Ballard Funeral Home website: www.ballardfh.com.