Emeritus, In Memoriam
Dorothy Jane Tollefsen was born in Illinois. Her parents were both immigrants. Her father John was born in Norway and mother Anna was born in Denmark. Dorothy had two sisters (Margaret and Olive) and a brother (John).
The family moved to California where her father worked as a life insurance agent and the family lived in Pasadena, California by the time of the 1930 U.S. Census.
Dorothy attended the University of California, Berkeley, where she received her A.B. and M.A. degrees. By 1940 she was a public school teacher in Woodland, Yolo, California.
Dorothy married Kay Frederick Neil on 2 Jul 1938. By 1940, Dorothy was teaching in Woodland, CA and reported her marital status as single.
During WW II, Dorothy served in the Navy as a recreation officer. In 1946, Dorothy was first appointed Assistant Professor at San Diego State, where she had a successful and productive academic career for over 25 years.
She taught a variety of physical activity courses, was advisor/sponsor of the Women’s Recreation Association on campus and served as Chair of the Department of Physical Education for Women from 1956 to 1959. Dorothy was promoted to the rank of Professor during her years of service.
Dorothy retired from teaching in 1972 with the status of Professor Emeritus of Physical Education.
Eventually, she moved back to northern California where she had gone to college and lived before serving in the Navy and teaching at San Diego State. From the late 1980s until the mid-1990s, records show her living in Cool, California, a small town 40 miles from Sacramento.
Dorothy lived until age 93. She died on 14 June 2009 in Sutter County, north of Sacramento.