Dorothy "Jean" Redwood Douglass, departed this life, suddenly, on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at her Lincoln Park home. Jean, one of nine children, was born on September 10, 1932 in Jeanette, PA to the late John L. and Maggie Johnson Redwood. Preceding hr in death were brothers, Carl, John, Paul and Charles Redwood, as well as sisters, Patty Lou Spotwood, Ethel Kirkland and Moise Clarkson.
Jean was married to the late Robert E. Douglass, Sr. for 63 years, until his passing in November 2016. Their loving union bore five children.
At a very young age, Jean and her family moved to Hermine, PA, where she graduated from Sewickley Township High School in 1950. Shortly thereafter, she moved to Pittsburgh, PA where she became the first black female, full-time secretary at the Louis Little Law Firm while maintaining a part time job, in the same role, at Hill City Youth Municipality, and later, the Pittsburgh Courier.
In 1968, Jean gained employment with the Hill House Association, on a part-time/temporary basis, to oversee monies pledged and received for the building of what is presently known as the James F. Henry Hill House Center. Soon thereafter, Jean was hired as a full-time secretary/administrative assistant to executive directors, Russell Shelton and James F. Henry until their deaths. Jean worked for executive director, Evan Frazier on a part-time and voluntary basis until her retirement in 2003. During her 35 years of employment, she also served as assistant secretary to the Hill House Board of Directors.
In 1997, due to her consistent presence and highly admired work ethic, Jean received the Jazz at Hill House Award for unselfish, dedicated, and loyal service. The following year, she received special recognition for her dedicated service to both the Hill District community and the Hill House Association. In 2007, Jean received the Hill House Association Pioneer Beacon of Hope Award for her tireless work to improve and uplift the community.
Jean was member of Bethesda Presbyterian Church in Homewood for over 50 years, where she served a deacon, an elder, co-chair of the Finance Committee, chair of the Evangelism & Fellowship Committee, secretary of the Property & Personnel Committee, treasurer of the Toilers and a volunteer for the Bethesda Presbyterian Church office and the Lincoln Park food distribution program. She was named Presbyterian Women's Woman of the Year in 2002.
Further illustrating Jean's love of community enrichment and penchant for community service, she is a former member and secretary of Friends United for Neighborhood Development in Western Penn Hills, as well as, the former secretary of the Penn Hills branch of the NAACP, for 10 years, under the presidencies of the late Charles Kindle and Oliver Montgomery. She was a member of Grandmothers Inc.and a member of AARP #4542. Jean maintained active memberships with the NAACP, Modern Grandmothers and AARP until her passing.
Jean leaves to cherish her memory: her children, Diane Lewis; Robert E. Jr. (Cheryl); Lori Balthrop (Marcus); Bryan (Marta); Leslie Douglass, all of Pittsburgh; a sister, Margaret Ann Davis of Colonial Heights, VA; sisters-in-law, Kathleen Douglass of Seattle and Loretta Douglass of Pittsburgh; a brother-in-law, Jack Douglass (Frances) of San Diego; cousins, Dr. Willie Banks, Jr. of Arlington, VA; Barbara Douglass of Pittsburgh and Wilbur Douglass III of Virginia Beach; and a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and many, many friends.