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Obit: Dorothy Gavey

Dorothy (Dee) Gavey, long time resident of Old Town Alexandria, died from congestive heart failure at her home on Oct. 13, 2008. She and her late husband, Ret. Col. Thomas Gavey, USAF, purchased the Hunter-Mandeville house at Duke and Fairfax Streets in 1974 and worked its on restoration until Col. Gavey’s death in 1987. Their home was featured in several Virginia home and garden tours following the restoration of the first floor.

Mrs. Gavey was a docent at Carlyle House for over 25 years, led tours of old town, and was particularly known for her Ghost Tours of old town. She was born in New York in 1918. She served in the Marines during World War II, working both assembly of gunnery sights and earning her commercial pilot’s license, logging 150 hours in ferrying planes during World War II.

Following her discharge from the Marines in 1948, she headed for Hollywood where she was a costume designer and apprentice to Edith Head, an Academy Award winning designer. It was there she met Thomas Gavey, a cinematographer and Air Force pilot. They were married at Fort Belvoir. After he retired from the Air Force, he continued as a motion picture producer and director with the Navy and the Department of Justice.

Following her husband’s death, Mrs. Gavey continued to be involved with Carlyle House and the Old Town Visitor Center until her health limited her activities. At her request, no funeral or memorial service was held. She was buried beside her husband, Col. Gavey, in Mountain View Cemetery, Piedmont, Calif. She is survived by a brother, Hy Barenfeld in Florida, and four nieces, Bonnie Napier of California, Julia Bender and Emily Harter both of Oregon, and Sally Rasmussen of Nevada, and a nephew, Paul Gavey of California.