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Obituary: Dorothy Cordova-Bryant

Beloved great-great grandmother, business owner, married 69 years, then again at 85

Dorothy Cordova-Bryant died February 2, with family by her side. She was 95.

“Days before her passing she said she was looking forward to going to heaven to be with her beloved first husband of 69 years, Eloy Cordova, who passed away on March 23, 2012,” her family shared.

Dorothy was born to Lilly and Burton Shults on January 26, 1927, in Twin Falls, Idaho. She had three little brothers, Raymond, Walter and Bobby. Sadly, they all preceded her in death.

Ultimately her father moved his family to Medford, Oregon, where she had a great life. They lived on a small farm and she helped her father take care of her little brothers.

“Dorothy’s mother passed away when she was a young girl, so this was the beginning of her becoming an outstanding mother,” her family continued. “Even though she was only in school until the age of 11, she made up for it by learning on her own.”

When she was 15 she met a handsome soldier. She was babysitting a child in the park when she noticed the little girl was heading for a pond. As she ran to save the girl, the soldier saved the child from falling in the water. That was the beginning of her friendship with that soldier, Eloy Cordova, whom she married December 9, 1942, a union that endured for 69 years.

The couple remained in Medford for 10 years, raising five children. She helped support the family by packing pears and working as a waitress. Her husband was bus driver for the community.

The family moved to Claremont in 1956. There the couple started a business selling cookware, a venture that would continue for 55 years. For 20 years they had booths at the Los Angeles and San Bernardino county fairs where they displayed their cookware, along with crafts that they made together. She was so successful at selling cookware that one year she was awarded for being the first woman to sell one million dollars-worth. “She was so proud of that award,” said her family. “She worked hard for it.”

She attended the First Assembly of God church in Pomona for more than 20 years, where she was very active, and visited members of the congregation who were sick or needed company.
When she moved to Ontario she attended the Living Waters of Chino church, where she was also quite active. Through her service she helped support food banks in Victorville. “If anyone was in need she was there to help them in any way she could,” her family shared.

After she lost her first husband, she met Gerald Bryant. They found new love and became a couple—both at the age of 85. He made her happy once again. They married and spent nearly 10 years together.

Her children say their mother was an angel on earth. “She was strong and was a force of nature,” they recalled. “She touched the lives of everyone she met. There wasn’t a life she didn’t bless or a heart she didn’t touch.”

Her children recalled many favorite memories: running through the sprinklers in the front yard, skating down the street with her daughters, summer vacations in mountains of Wrightwood, holidays together and birthday parties. They all had a great time whenever the family was together.

“Dorothy loved See’s candy,” they said. “She never went a day without it. She also loved the color pink. She decorated her entire kitchen in pink when her kids were young. Even the refrigerator and stove were pink! Her children loved it. Her family thought she looked her best when she was wearing pink. She was a beautiful woman, a loving wife, and wonderful mother.”

She is survived by and will be deeply missed by her loving family, including husband Gerald Bryant; children Vicky Kelley, Cathy Cordova, Lonny Newell and husband Doug, Debbie Winmill and husband Tom, Steve Cordova and wife Sheri; grandchildren Mindy, Warren, Trevorr, Blake, Jodi, Robynn, Jocelyn, Christy, Sherry, Louie, Nick, Chad, Janelle, Breanna and Jacob; and great- and great-great-grandchildren Adam, Allison, Jude, Cora, Katie, Garrett, Ethan, Kyra, Jaxen, Eva, Sofia, Audrey, Luna, Tripp, Haley #1, Kylie, Bailey, Ashlyn, Zoey, Zachary, Stephanie ,Zuri, Sarah, June, Hunter, Frankie and Will, and Haley #2.

A private funeral, where flowers are welcomed, will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Thursday, February 24 at Victor Valley Mortuary, 15609 11th St., Victorville, California 92395. Call (760) 245-8164 for more information.

A memorial gathering for extended family and friends is being planned for a later date.

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