Cover photo for Helen Dorton's Obituary
Helen Dorton Profile Photo
1936 Helen 2023

Helen Dorton

May 8, 1936 — April 13, 2023

Helen was born in Akron, Ohio in 1936, the eldest child of Paul Schlaker, Jr. and Mary Theresa (Mekler) Schlaker. After graduating from Our Lady of the Elms in 1954, she opened and operated the Helen Jeanette Dance Studio in 1955 at the age of 19. Helen hired a teenager named Sandy to play piano for her, and they became best friends for the next 67 years. While teaching dance, she was simultaneously employed at the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, and worked her way up to the position of Mailroom Supervisor. She retired after 37 and a half years to take care of her ailing mother. After aimost 30 years of teaching others the love of dance, she wistfully shelved her tap shoes. She was happy to watch others dance on television shows, especially Dancing with the Stars.

Besides dance, Helen enjoyed reading, bowling, golf, family get-togethers, and luncheons with her many friends. She loved being pampered at the hair salon. Helen was a member of Jackson Friends Church and the Generations Sunday School Class, and served on the Missions Committee.

Helen was predeceased by her parents, her special aunt Anne Mekler, her husband of 38 years James M. Dorton, her sister Paulette (Schlaker) Coleman, her brother-in-law Clarence "Dewey" Coleman, her eldest grandchild Gayle A. Thatcher, and her special dance student and friend Ray A. Brabson.

Helen is survived by her niece Vicki (Coleman) Bosz (Steve); her best friend Sandra "Sandy" Spak; her sister-in-law Jean Brown; her "children" (Jim's kids) Jack Dorton, Diane Dorton, Lisa Graziani (Mark), and Jerold Dorton (Alison); her grandchildren Alex Graziani, Jalen Dorton, Emily Dorton, Faith Dorton, AJ Dorton, and Jonas Dorton; her great-grandchildren Isaac Dorton, Ember Hilliard, and Judah Hilliard (with another one due any day now!); her "granddaughter" Monica; her lifelong friends Don and Carolee; her goddaughter Colleen and all her other cherished cousins, students, neighbors, and friends. You know who you are.

Helen's family would like to thank all of the courageous medical and healthcare workers, her dancing CNP Libby, and especially her beloved nurse Jodi. Additionally, we are unendingly appreciative of Administrator Teresa Morris and her ENTIRE devoted staff at Pleasant Pointe Assisted Living for going above and beyond the call of duty on her behalf. Finally, our heartfelt thanks go to the dedicated angels of Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care for their tender ministrations.

A graveside service will take place at 10:15 AM on May 8, 2023, at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery at 10175 Rawiga Rd., Seville. OH 44273.

In lieu of flowers, should loved ones desire, memorial donations may be made to Jackson Friends Church, 7945 Portage Street NW, Massillon, OH 44646, or to Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery, 10175 Rawiga Rd., Seville, OH 44273.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Helen Dorton, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Monday, May 8, 2023

10:15 - 10:30 am (Eastern time)

Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery

10175 Rawiga Rd., Seville, OH 44273

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