COOPERSTOWN – Dorothy Katherine St. John, 93, who assisted Nobel Prize winner Dr. E. Donnall Thomas in his research at Bassett Hospital, passed away peacefully at Woodside Hall on Feb. 3, 2021, with her family by her side.
She was born July 13, 1927, in Danbury, Conn., the daughter of Herbert and Anna (Shreifer) Archer.
She spent her childhood in Danbury and graduated from Danbury High School. Continuing her education, she came to Cooperstown to attend Knox School in The Otesaga. She liked the area so much she decided to stay after graduation.
Dorothy met, fell in love with, and married Archie St. John Jr., Dec. 24, 1948, and they enjoyed 54 years together until Archie’s death in 2003.
Her career as a medical research technician at Bassett Hospital spanned decades and included studies in a wide range of medicine. She assisted Dr. E. Donnall Thomas in his research on bone marrow transplants. Dr. Thomas won a Nobel Prize for these discoveries.
In addition to her career in research, Dorothy and Archie owned and operated the Fireplace Antique Shop for 28 years. As part of their business, they traveled to antique shows in Connecticut, Vermont and throughout New York State.
In retirement, Dorothy enjoyed golf and spent many hours on the links with Archie and her friends. In addition, she spent years volunteering at Bassett Healthcare and the Susquehanna SPCA. She was a loyal, giving friend to all who knew her and a wonderful caring wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
She is survived by a daughter and son-in-law, Kim and Chet Yastrzemski of Cooperstown; two sons and daughters-in-law, Kent and Grace St. John of Raleigh, N.C., and Archie III and Julie of Massena; seven grandchildren, Kaina (Mike) Hanna of Williamstown, N.J., Korri (Priscilla) of Portsmouth, Va., Archie St. John IV of Massena, Crystal St. John of Massena, Lou Ann Contreras of North Bend, Ore., Adam Yastrzemski of Cooperstown and Craig (Sandy) Yastrzemski of York, Pa.; 12 great-grandchildren, Emma, Addison, Aleksander and Sofia Yastrzemski of Cooperstown, Salwynn Yastrzemski of York, Pa., Dakota and Mercede St. John of Massena, Selena and Cameron Krywanczyk and Sapphire White of Massena and Gavyn and Haylee Hanna of Williamstown, N.J.; seven step-grandchildren, including Jeffrey Dwyer, Gerald Kuhn (Yaritza), Lynn Dougherty, Jennifer (Skip) Botbyl, Christian (Jennifer) Brandt, Melissa (Rob) O’Brien and Amanda Campbell and their families; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, David and Delaine St. John of Milford; sister-in-law, Ellen St. John of Cooperstown; and several nieces and nephews and their families.
The family expresses its deepest gratitude to Woodside Hall, its staff and Dorothy’s resident friends for welcoming her into their family, enriching her life in so many ways with warm companionship and wonderful activities and for caring for her so skillfully, with incredible kindness.
A graveside service will be held at a later date.
For those who so desire, donations may be made in Dorothy’s name to either the Cooperstown Food Pantry, 25 Church St., Cooperstown, NY 13326 or Friends of Bassett Healthcare Network, 1 Atwell Road, Cooperstown, NY 13326.
Arrangements are under the care of Tillapaugh Funeral Service, Cooperstown.