Artist, teacher and pilot Dorothy “Dot” Swain Lewis died Monday, Sept. 9, 2013. at her Idyllwild home. She was born near Asheville, N.C. Sept. 30, 1915, to John Edward Swain, and Mozelle Stringfield Swain.
She was predeceased by brothers Robert and Jack. She is survived by a sister, Betty Turbyfill, of Asheville, N.C,.; her son, Albert Lewis of Arlington, Va.; and extended family located from North Carolina to Alaska to New Zealand.
She graduated from Randolph Macon College for Women in 1936, studied at the Art Students League of New York, receiving her master’s degree in fine arts from Scripps College, Calif.
An accomplished pilot, she served as a flight instructor during World War II, for the Navy and Women Airforce Service Pilots, then, as a WASP, flying the P-63, B-26 and P-40, among others. Afterward, she instructed and performed aerobatics in Florida, got married, then moved west teaching for 26 years at the Orme Ranch School in Arizona, and retiring to Idyllwild.
Her art includes paintings, drawings, lithographs, etchings, other print-making, ceramics, sculpture, the official portrait of U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, and a series of cast-bronze statues installed at the U.S. Air Force Academy Honor Court, Neillsville, Wis., Sweetwater, Texas, and College Park, Md.. Details at www.dotlewis.com.
As a veteran, she will be interred at a National Cemetery, perhaps Arlington, Va., at which time a service will be held.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a tree be planted in some worthy spot, or give a rose to build a Tournament of Roses float honoring the WASP. Details at www.WaspFloat.com.