Dorothy was born in Albany, New York at Brady Maternity Hospital on Jan 17, 1927. Her father was Henry William Croteau, Sr. He was from New Hampshire, son of Françoise Xavier Croteau and Josephine Nadeau, both born in Canada. Dorothy’s great grandfather, William Jackson Breedlove, fought in the Civil War and another great grandfather was George Shepherd Hamm, who rode with General Nathan Bedford Forrest. Dorothy’s father was born in Berlin, New Hampshire of French Canadian parents. His grandfather walked over the Canadian border at 14 years old.
Her mother is Nanny Laura Breedlove. Nanny came to Albany in her early 1920s to see her two brothers, soldiers, in WWI. She was introduced to her husband and married in 1925. Her father was a butcher in the Army during WWI and continued in that trade in Hudson. Her father’s employer, the Grand Union, moved the family frequently. But in 1938 they settled and bought property in Claverack. Dorothy’s younger brother, Sonny Henry William Croteau, Jr. attended a one room schoolhouse for a year in Hollowville with 15 other children before being transferred to Roeliff Janssen in Hillsdale. Dorothy graduated in 1945, and after graduation, started a job at a lab in Rensselaer.
Dorothy and Ralph first met at the Ferns on 7th Street Park next to the St. Charles Hotel. She married Ralph in 1945 and they lived in Hudson for a year before moving to her parent’s home in Claverack. They had two girls, Judy and Nancy, who went to Ockawamick Central. Their son, Keith Michael, graduated from Ockawamick before the name of the school changed to Taconic Hills. Dorothy and Ralph were married for 67 years in June 2015.