Dorothy E. Saylor, 94, event planner

Dorothy E. Saylor had helped teach Princess Grace to swim.
Dorothy E. Saylor had helped teach Princess Grace to swim.
Posted: June 15, 2013

Dorothy E. "Dot" Saylor, 94, of Aldan, an events planner and athlete who as a teen taught the future Princess Grace of Monaco to swim at the Y, died Thursday, June 6, at home of natural causes.

The former Dorothy Stickel was born and raised in the Swampoodle neighborhood of Philadelphia.

Mrs. Saylor worked as a summer lifeguard at Philadelphia city pools during her teen years. At the Kelly Pool in East Falls, she taught future City Councilman Jack Kelly and his sister Grace the basics of swimming.

She enjoyed getting to know the famous family. "She always spoke about Jack and Grace," said her daughter Dorie Brossette.

After graduating from Simon Gratz High School, she worked at the Central Branch YMCA in Center City, then went to work at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard during World War II.

She met her husband, Luther, there; they were part of a logistics and planning team that designed and built the battleship New Jersey.

The two were married for 63 years. He died in 2004.

Mrs. Saylor was proprietor of Dorothy E. Saylor Social Consultants, which she ran out of her home. From the early 1960s through the 1990s, she arranged and directed hundreds of weddings, social engagements, and charity events for Philadelphia and Main Line clients. Her three children helped when they could.

"We met a lot of important people. It was a whirlwind," Brossette said.

A devoted member of the YMCA, Mrs. Saylor was known in the Philadelphia suburbs as a swimming, health, and fitness instructor. She brought yoga and tai chi to the area long before they were commonplace.

"My mother was ahead of her time. Nobody ever heard of yoga," said Brossette.

Mrs. Saylor also swam competitively in later years, and was a seven-time gold medalist with the Delaware County Senior Olympics and a two-time gold medalist with the Pennsylvania Senior Olympics.

Mrs. Saylor was an active lifetime member of the Republican Women of Pennsylvania and the Hannah Penn House, a Center City women's club that raises money for charity. She also was a member of Christ Lutheran Church, where she taught Sunday school, and the Aldan American Legion Auxiliary.

She rarely went out without a hat, her daughter said. Mrs. Saylor loved dogs and went to great lengths to care for them if they fell ill.

Surviving besides her daughter are son L. Douglas; another daughter. Linda; and four grandchildren.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Friday, June 21, at Christ Lutheran Church, 7240 Walnut St., Upper Darby. Burial is private.

Donations may be made to Animal Friends of Lansdowne, Box 869, Lansdowne, Pa. 19050.


Contact Bonnie L. Cook at 610-313-8102 or bcook@phillynews.com.

 

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