Mt. Sterling, Illinois – Dorothy Agnes Tracy, 91, co-founder of Dot Foods, died at 12:05 a.m. on Friday, March 27, 2020, in her home. She died of natural causes not related to the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
Dorothy was born on January 21, 1929, in Taylorville, Ill. She was one of Lawrence and Marie Curtin’s seven children. She grew up on their farm in Blue Mound, Ill., attended Stonington Community High School, and graduated from Sacred Heart Academy in Springfield, Ill. In 1949, she received a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Illinois.
While at the university, she met Robert Francis Tracy, an agriculture student from Jerseyville, Ill. They were married in Stonington, Ill., on June 9, 1949, and resided in Champaign, Ill., until 1952 when they moved to Mt. Sterling, Ill. In 1960, the Tracys started their business, Associated Dairy Products Company.
Dorothy often worked as a substitute teacher at St. Mary School and Brown County High School in Mt. Sterling. She also assisted Robert in running the new company, functioning as secretary/bookkeeper and even helping make deliveries of food products to their customers. At that time, the Tracys had eight children, all under the age of 10.
In honor of Dorothy, Associated Dairy Products Company changed its name to Dot Associated Dairy Products Company in 1966 before being renamed Dot Foods in 1981. Today, the $8.1 billion company is the largest food industry redistributor in North America and is still owned and operated by the Tracy family. Dot Foods employs 6,400 people in 16 locations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, including 2,800 at its Mt. Sterling corporate headquarters.
Dorothy was active in the Holy Family Catholic Church in Mt. Sterling, where she often played the organ. She was also a member of the National T.T.T. Society chapter in Mt. Sterling, served on the Brown County School Board, and played bridge in several local clubs.
Dorothy had a philanthropic spirit, a value she instilled in her children and grandchildren and made a cornerstone of her company. She volunteered and supported many local charities and is known for her role in helping build the Mt. Sterling Community Center YMCA, which opened in 2004. Construction of the facility was paid for by Robert and Dorothy Tracy, the Tracy Family Foundation, and Dot Foods.
Dorothy is survived by her 12 children, Donald (Wanda) of Springfield, Ill.; Patrick (Jane) of Town and Country, Mo.; Thomas (Catherine) of Mt. Sterling, Ill.; Anne (Ray) Capestrain of Springfield, Ill.; James (Jil) of Quincy, Ill.; Jean (Mike) Buckley of Quincy, Ill.; John (Linda) of Des Peres, Mo.; Mary (Jay) Sullivan of Pleasantville, N.Y.; Susan (Scott) Stamerjohn of Quincy, Ill.; Jane (Fred) Schmidt of Des Peres, Mo.; Joseph (Jill) of Quincy, Ill.; Richard (Adina) of Des Peres, Mo.; 46 grandchildren; 31 great-grandchildren; and her brothers, Paul (Gail) Curtin of Lisle, Ill.; Larry Curtin of Taylorville, Ill.; John (Alice) Curtin of Taylorville, Ill.; and sister-in-law Nancy Curtin of Ocean City, N.J.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert, on March 26, 2006; her parents; her sister, Catherine Trueblood; and her brothers Bill Curtin and Leo Curtin.
The private burial for immediate Tracy family members will be at the Mt. Sterling Catholic Cemetery.
Due to Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order, which limits the size of groups to 10 people or less, a memorial service for Dot Foods employees, friends, and the entire Tracy family will be held at a yet-to-be determined date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Holy Family Catholic Church, St. Mary School, or Mt. Sterling Community Center YMCA.
Hendricker Funeral Home of Mt. Sterling is handling funeral arrangements. Condolences to the family may be submitted online at HendrickerFH.com.
The Tracy family would also like to share their deepest appreciation to Dorothy’s exceptional caregivers: Lavonne, Barb, Susie, Catalina, Cassandra, Kathy, Amy, Ashley, Mirjana, and primary care physician Dr. Dan Evans. The family will always be grateful and never forget the love, care, and support they gave Dorothy.
To send flowers to Dorothy's family, please visit our floral store.
Holy Family Catholic Church
Mount Sterling IL
St. Mary School
Mount Sterling Community Center YMCA
P.O. Box 247, Mount Sterling IL 62353