Dorothy “Dotty” Mary Harkins, born May 28, 1930 and raised in upper Manhattan, New York City, died peacefully on February 8, 2021 at Vicars Landing Windsor Health Center in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. She was surrounded by her three children, whom she treasured. As a member of the Vicar’s community since 2007, Dotty’s cheerful and glowing disposition was always evident to her friends, neighbors, and staff and they will fondly remember the twinkle in her blue eyes as an enduring gift. Her smile lit up the room, and her natural warmth made everyone feel at ease.
Dorothy was the eldest daughter of Irish immigrants, James and Margaret (nee Finnegan) Howley, and was a parishioner of St. Joseph Church of the Holy Family and later at The Church of Good Shepherd, both in New York, NY. She attended high school at St. Michael’s Academy on West 33rd Street in Manhattan, commuting daily by subway. She is predeceased by her sister, Margaret “Peggy” Rau and brother, Thomas Howley. Following positions at General Motors and Macy’s Herald Square, Dotty married the love of her life, Joseph James Harkins, also from their close-knit neighborhood, Inwood in Manhattan. Together for 50 years, until Joe passed in 2004, they lovingly raised their three children in River Edge and Montvale, NJ. Dotty, who Joe always referred to affectionately as “his bride”, was Joe’s constant companion as they traveled the world throughout his banking career. They officially retired to Ponte Vedra Beach, FL in 1990, fully embracing the growing communities at Sawgrass Country Club (from 1979) and The Plantation at Ponte Vedra (from 1993).
Dotty was a strong and fiercely loving mother to Brian J. Harkins (Maureen) of Sarasota, FL, Joseph F. Harkins (Karen) of Harding, NJ, and Jeanne I. Davis (John) of Stamford, CT. Dotty will be most deeply missed as a kind, generous and always smiling “Nana" to her 11 adoring grandchildren, Margaret “Maggie”, John, Cornelius “Neil”, Ryan Christopher (her deceased special angel), Christian, Julia, Peter, Matthew, Lauren, Brayden, Rowan and her great-grandson, Jack. Dotty’s sincerest passions were her family and her lifetime of loving friendships from Inwood, and from her humble, caring, and considerate life that was beautifully lived in NJ and FL. She loved music of all genres, and one of her greatest joys was listening, and singing along with her family and friends, as playlists spun for hours.
A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, March 20, 2021 at Our Lady Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church in Ponte Vedra Beach, her longtime parish.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Dotty’s name may be made to: Community Hospice & Palliative Care Foundation - 4266 Sunbeam Rd. Jacksonville, FL 32257 and for online donations - www.communityhospice.com/give/ or St Joseph’s Church of the Holy Family - 405 W 125th St., New York, NY 10027 - https://www.stjosephsharlem.com/donations.