Dorothy F. LaMay, a retired teacher who owned the Deerfield Cottages in Montauk, died at Southampton Hospital on Dec. 19. She was 85 and had a number of health issues.
Ms. LaMay was born to George Feuerriegel and the former Sophie Hecht on Oct. 8, 1926, in Bay Shore. She grew up on a chicken farm in Deer Park, earned her undergraduate degree at the State Teachers College at New Paltz, and received a Master’s in Reading Education from Hofstra University in 1961. She also earned a professional development degree in special education at Fordham University in 1975.
Her 30-year teaching career began in Huntington. She later taught primary school at Lloyd Harbor Elementary school, and then became a reading specialist at Cedar Road Elementary School in the Commack School District.
Ms. LaMay was married to Bernard C. LaMay on June 26, 1949, at St. Patrick’s Church in Huntington. As a young woman, she worked as a teacher while raising her four children, and was also “the sole caretaker of her parents and helped out with two aunts and an uncle,” her family said.
She and her husband divorced after 20 years, “when they realized they needed to follow different paths in life,” her family said.
Ms. LaMay lived in Huntington and Greenlawn before moving to Montauk in 1981. She had discovered the hamlet in 1977, drawn there by her love of the ocean. She purchased Deerfield Cottages on East Lake Drive in 1977, and two years later bought the Neptune Motel on South Edison Street.
She had been a Sunday school teacher at a Lutheran church in Huntington, and was on the board of the Montauk Chamber of Commerce. Ms. LaMay was also a volunteer at the chamber’s Harbor Festival, and was one of its founding members. She was a president and volunteer at the Montauk Nutrition Center, a secretary for the local AARP, secretary of Friends of the Montauk Library, a Montauk coordinator and volunteer for Meals on Wheels, an usher at the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, and a volunteer at Guild Hall in East Hampton, where she was once named Person of the Year.
Her family said “she loved children and showed her commitment to teaching by having her grandchildren stay and visit with her over the summer.” Ms. LaMay also loved to travel, and was a part of Montauk theater group.
She enjoyed bridge, and read a book or two a week, her family said.
Ms. LaMay is survived by her four children, George LaMay of Greenlawn, Michele LaMay of Montauk, Joanne Horesky of Banks, Ore., and Judith LaMay Black of Montauk. She also leaves nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
A service was held at the Montauk Community Church on Dec. 22. The Rev. Bill Hoffman officiated. Ms. LaMay’s ashes will be dispersed by the family at a later date.
The family has suggested memorial donations to Montauk Nutrition Center, 240 Edgemere Street, Montauk 11954; Montauk Community Church, P.O. Box 698, Montauk, or the Montauk Medical Center c/o Southampton Hospital Foundation, 240 Meeting House Lane, Southampton 11968.