Dorothy Lee Cross Gatling

Published 7:15 pm Monday, July 8, 2019

Dorothy Lee Cross Gatling was born on Jan. 2, 1924, in Carson, to Henry Parker Cross and Mary Louie Winfield, the third of their six children. She passed away on July 3, 2019 at the age of 95.

Her family moved to Petersburg and later to Suffolk. She graduated from Suffolk High School in 1941. Dorothy married Wilfred Commander Gatling Jr., her high school sweetheart, on Dec. 26, 1947, and they had two children. Wilfred was the love of her life, and they celebrated 53 years of marriage together.

She retired from the Virginia Employment Commission after more than 20 years of service. She was active in many civic organizations. Dorothy was most involved in the work at First Baptist Church, Suffolk, where she taught Sunday school and was a leader in the women’s missionary work. In her later years of life, she was committed to knitting pot holders for the women in Kenya. She made hundreds of these pot holders.

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Dorothy is preceded in death by her mother and father; her husband, Wilfred; three sisters, Emily Dalton, Virginia Cross and Ann Beaton; and her brother, Henry Cross. She is survived by her daughter, Patricia Gatling Middlebrooks and husband, Charlie; her son, Wilfred Commander Gatling III and wife, Cathy; four grandchildren, Charles Middlebrooks (wife Chloe), Benjamin Gatling (wife Mandy), Lauren Hamblet (husband Jeff) and Cameron Gatling; five great-grandchildren, Grayson, Kale, Aram, Evan and Jacob; her sister, Mildred Beauter; four nieces and four nephews.

A funeral was held at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 6, 2019, with Dr. Thurman R. Hayes and the Rev. Charles Thompson officiating at R.W. Baker & Co. Funeral Home and Crematory, 509 W. Washington St., Suffolk. Visitation was held one hour prior to the funeral service. Interment was at Cedar Hill Cemetery. Condolences may be offered at