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Dorothy Shockey, 95, Lutheran leader

After the attack on Pearl Harbor had thrown the United States into World War II, homebound Americans questioned what they could do.

Dorothy Shockey
Dorothy ShockeyRead more

After the attack on Pearl Harbor had thrown the United States into World War II, homebound Americans questioned what they could do.

Before the month was out, the United Council of Church Women was founded at a meeting in Atlantic City, representing 70 denominations nationwide.

And after the Rev. Ralph Shockey became administrator in 1947 of what is now Lutheran Care at Moorestown, his wife, Dorothy Dietle Shockey, founded the local chapter of the United Council there in 1950.

On Tuesday, April 30, Mrs. Shockey, 95, of Moorestown, also a founding member of St. Matthew Lutheran Church there in 1950, died at Virtua Memorial medical center in Mount Holly.

The council, now known as the Church Women United Movement, was founded, its website states, "as a racially, culturally, and theologically inclusive Christian women's movement to celebrate unity in diversity and work for peace in the world."

Recently, Mrs. Shockey was honored with the movement's Valiant Woman award, given annually by a local chapter member.

Its website states that "women of the movement affirm that prayer and action are inseparable and that both have immeasurable influence in the world."

A granddaughter, Michele Schwartz, said Thursday that Mrs. Shockey was born in Somerset County, in southwestern Pennsylvania, graduated from high school there, and wrote in a biographical note that she "graduated from Deaconess School in Baltimore, Md."

The website for the Baltimore Motherhouse of Deaconesses of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America states: "Throughout its existence, the Baltimore Motherhouse deaconesses served as parish sisters, working in individual parishes; teachers, teaching religion and catechetics, in primary grades; and as nurses in parishes, homes and institutions." Her granddaughter was uncertain whether Mrs. Shockey worked as a deaconess before or after marrying in 1939.

Pastor Shockey administered the Lutheran Home at Moorestown, which evolved into Lutheran Care, providing "assisted living, skilled nursing services, and rehabilitation services," spokeswoman Ruth Lewis said Thursday.

A charter member of the St. Matthew Church Auxiliary in 1947, Mrs. Shockey earned its Life Achievement award in 2009.

With her husband, she was a charter member of the Historical Society of Moorestown. She was a longtime member of the Women's Club of Moorestown.

"She was a very loving, caring person and had great faith," said her granddaughter, adding that without her, "watching the Phillies isn't going to be the same."

Besides her granddaughter Michele, Mrs. Shockey is survived by a grandson, another granddaughter, and two great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband and children Anna, Bonnie, and David.

A funeral was set for 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 4, at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 318 Chester Ave., Moorestown, N.J. 08057, with private interment.

Donations may be sent to the church, her granddaughter said.

Condolences for the family may be offered at