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Dorothy Louise (Keene) Traister

Tuesday, November 8, 2022 @ 08:11 AM

Posted by Ashley Eck

With heavy hearts, the family of Dorothy Louise (Keene) Traister announces her passing on November 6, 2022, at the age of 76.

She was born in Little Rock, AR, in 1946 to Andrew and Evelyn (Lovell) Keene, the only sibling of her beloved older sister Bernice DeYoung Atkins.

Dorothy met her future husband of 49 years, John Wesley “Wes” Traister, during college in Anderson, IN.

He gave her a ride from there to his hometown of New Bethlehem, PA, where she met up with her current fiancé.

Wes made a good impression on young Dorothy when he arrived for the return trip in his new white Mustang, but it was short-lived.

The two had ample time to get to know one another when the car broke down by the highway.

They were married in New Bethlehem on June 6, 1968, with Wes’s father performing the ceremony.

In what would be the first of many elaborate sewing projects, Dorothy crafted her own wedding gown during evenings in the dorm.

In 1970, the couple welcomed their first daughter, Cara.

Dorothy blossomed into a caring teacher, a talented cook, and a loving mother.

When Wes built Cara a sandbox, it was “Mom” who injured her neck and put herself into traction by helping him carry it into place as a surprise.

With Cara’s little sister, Elizabeth (“Libby”), on the way in 1977, the family took up residence near Wes’s work at UPJ.

Settling at last in the old Lochrie house on Fifteenth Street in Windber, Dorothy became a supreme party-planner for her girls.

She hosted haunted-house parties in the attic for Libby’s October birthday and Olympic-themed events for Cara’s birthday in February.

She was famous for her homemade apple pie (raisins required à la Dad), rolls, and butter crunch candy.

Dorothy was eventually hired as an elementary gifted education teacher by the IU 8, and she spent the bulk of her career at C. W. Longer Elementary in Hollidaysburg, where she taught until her retirement.

“Grammy”, as first grandchild Emma dubbed her, made the best chicken and dumplings, potato soup, and “Grammy Supremes” (a drink of Mountain Dew with sherbet).

In their later years together, Dorothy and Wes divided their time between family in PA and visiting their cabin on the Little Missouri River near Murfreesboro, AR.

They spent many mornings knee-deep in the water, catching trout, and watching bald eagles fly overhead.

After Wes passed away in 2017, Dorothy enjoyed fishing trips with Bernice.

On vacations to Ocracoke Island, NC, she judged the family seashell-collecting contest, awarding the “prizes” of cans of Vernors ginger ale.

As Alzheimer’s Dementia took hold, Dorothy found joy in Beatles’ music, watching car restoration programs with son-in-law Lou, and outings with Libby or special friends Rosa and Betty, especially for meals at the Family Table or Wild Annie’s.

When the family could no longer safely care for her at home, the kind professionals at Magnolias of Chambersburg stepped up to the task, easing minds and giving Dorothy much loving care in her final days.

Dorothy Traister is survived by daughter Cara, her husband Louis A. Bafile, and their children Emma and Wes; daughter Elizabeth (Libby), her husband Chris Kiehl, and their daughter Mary; sister Bernice and her husband Bob Atkins; and nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Private funeral services will be held Wednesday, November 9, 2022, at the Alcorn Funeral Home in Hawthorn.

Interment will be held in the Oakland Cemetery in Distant.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

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