Written by Erin Bird, Project Owner – Corporate Website

In honor of celebrating the life of Dorothy Tracy, we wanted to share the story of how her and RT met, and how their life together got started. 

In 1947, Dorothy Curtin was an 18-year-old junior at the University of Illinois. It was her second day at the U of I, and she decided to attend an on-campus dance. 

By coincidence or fate, Robert (RT) Tracy also happened to be at the event and asked the young woman, who was “struggling to dance,” if he could show her a thing or two.

Susan Stamerjohn, RT and Dorothy’s fourth youngest child, said Dorothy remembered it quite differently. 

“Your father exaggerated when describing me as being the girl struggling to dance,” Dorothy said. “I was not the best dancer, but I was not struggling. He just said that to make it a better story.”

RT and Dorothy began courting soon after that dance. They went for cups of coffee or a coke at the student union because they didn’t have enough money to go out to dinner. If they decided to treat themselves to a movie, RT would cut hair for the extra money they needed.

They were engaged about a year after they met. On June 9, 1949, at 9 a.m., RT and Dorothy said their vows before family and friends at Holy Trinity Church in Stonington, Illinois. 

According to a 1949 newspaper announcement, “The bride was given in marriage by her father. She wore a gown of white marquisette over satin fashioned with fitted bodice, a draped bertha beneath a sheer yoke, and long sleeves with points coming over the hands.

The full hoop skirt was caught at the hemline showing rows of tiny marquisette ruffles, and a narrow ruffle edged the long sweeping train. Her veil and blusher were held by a wide band of bridal illusion trimmed with orange blossoms. She carried a bouquet of white roses centered with a white orchid.”

Following the ceremony, a wedding breakfast was served for the immediate families. A reception was held at the brides home in the afternoon. 

The couple departed on a honeymoon to Canada. Upon their return, they resided in Champaign, Illinois, where RT was a field representative at the Prairie Farms Creamery. He was 24 years old. Dorothy was 20.

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