Dorothy was born to Colbert & Ella Mae (Aller) Smith in Panama City, Florida on June 10, 1941. As a child growing up on Louisiana Avenue she was quite swift, so Dorothy came to be known by her family as “Rabbit”. Born into a large family, Dorothy was the youngest of eight children. During her early teenage years, she attended Rosenwald High School in Panama City. Being the same strong minded and determined lady that we all came to know and love, Dorothy left home at a young age.
While out experiencing life, young Dorothy met the man that we know to be her best friend and the love of her life, Richard Bender. On September 13, 1956 Richard and Dorothy wed. Over the course of their 55 plus years of marriage, the two welcomed five children (Carl, Richard Jr., Joseph, TyLisa, and Miko).
Dorothy wore many hats in her life time being a devoted wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, grandmother, friend, protector, counselor and anything else she needed to be to those she loved. On April 17, 2018 the Lord called her home.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents, husband, four brothers, two sisters, and her eldest son.
She leaves to cherish her memory her only living sibling, her eldest brother, Albert Smith; two sons, two daughters, a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, family and friends.
Visitation will be held at 10:00 am with services following at 11:00 am on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at Sixth Avenue Baptist Church, 1120 North Sixth Avenue, Pensacola, Florida.