Dorothy “Dee” Norey Gage, 102, died on November 5, 2018 at Elizabeth Church Manor in Binghamton, NY.
Dee was born in Detroit, Michigan on August 4, 1916. She spent her childhood on the family farm in Lakeport, Michigan, and then studied art at Detroit’s Cass Tech high school, followed by classes at the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts. She began her more than fifty year career as a commercial artist in Detroit, followed by career moves to Memphis and then to New York City, where she continued night classes at the Art Students League. Dee’s fashion advertising illustrations appeared in many publications, including the New York Times, Vogue, and Harper’s Bazaar.
Dee married Fenton Gage in New York City in Jan. 1946. They moved to Boston while Fenton was completing his doctorate at Harvard. During this time she commuted each week to New York to continue her work in fashion illustration. In 1947, when Fenton accepted a teaching position at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School, they moved to Syracuse and settled in the Eastwood neighborhood. While raising their three children, Dee worked as a free-lance artist for the department stores of Syracuse, including Dey Brothers, Chappell’s, Addis Company, Flah’s, Helmer’s, and for Eric Mower Associates, and her illustrations appeared daily in the Syracuse newspapers. She also had accounts in Philadelphia, Binghamton, and Watertown.
After their youngest child entered high school, Dee accepted full-time employment at Dey Brothers, where she worked until retiring in 1985. She was a member of the Onondaga Art Guild, Central NY Watercolor Society, Cazenovia Watercolor Society, Syracuse Ceramic Guild, and Fine Arts Society of the Southern Tier. In addition to spending time with friends and family, she enjoyed painting and pottery, and participated in regional art shows and the annual Ceramic Guild Pottery Fair for many years.
She was predeceased by her husband Fenton, her sister Helen, and her brothers Sam and John. She is survived by her son Theodore and daughter-in-law Janet, of Anacortes, WA; daughter Ellen and son-in-law John Samsel, of Endicott, NY; son Christopher and daughter-in-law Lisa of Yardley, PA; grandchildren Timothy, Diana, and Brian; step-grandchildren Jim (Dawn) Samsel, Steve (Shannon) Samsel, Amy (Rony) Awaida, Chris (Christine) Samsel; several nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, and grand-nephews; and 13 step-great-grandchildren. There will be no calling hours.
Those wishing may make a contribution in Dee’s memory to The Nature Conservancy for its Sandy Pond Beach fund (on Lake Ontario). (The Nature Conservancy, 315 Alexander St., Rochester, NY 14604-2614 or http://www.nature.org/index.htm).