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In Memory of
Ruth J. Dodrill
February 7, 1929 - August 26, 2021

Celebration of Life will be held in the Spring of 2022

Ruth (Petie) Dodrill, age 92, of Westerville Ohio, died peacefully in her sleep at home on Thursday, August 26, 2021. Petie was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania to Edith and Clarence Johnson. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Penn State University and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Theater from Ohio University. Petie was the costume designer for over 100 productions at the Otterbein College Theatre; she introduced Childrens Theatre to the Otterbein and Westerville community in 1962, directing 26 Childrens Theatre productions. Petie loved the theater - acting, teaching, designing, and directing in high school, college, and community theaters. She shared this passion and the love of travel with her husband of 48 years, Dr. Charles Dodrill, who passed away in 2003. Together they helped create one of the most preeminent theater programs in the nation over their three decades working together. Forcreating a legacy of inspiration, community, and creativity at Otterbein, Petie received Otterbeins Womens Club Woman of the Year Award in 1979, and an Honorary Alumna degree from Otterbein University in 1994. Petie was the Director of the Speech and Theater Department at Gahanna Lincoln High School where she taught for 30 years and served as the director and designer for over 35 productions. Deeply engaged with arts and life-long learning, Petie read voraciously, painted, traveled and audited numerous classes at Otterbein University. She shared her love of the written word with the broader community into her 90s in two book clubs, reading to first graders at McVay Elementary School for 12 years, performing on VOICEcorps live radio channel, and directing plays for Curtain Players and SRO Theater Company. She was also deeply involved with the Otterbein University Advisory Board as a dedicated board member and contributor. Petie was blessed with three children: Tracy (Andy) Foster, Brad (Bethany) Dodrill and Trish (Tony) Garrison. Six grandchildren: Kate and Megan Foster, Lindsay Dorka and Matt Dodrill, Jake and Savannah Garrison, and one great granddaughter Reese Dorka. Petie so loved sharing in all their busy lives - her family was the greatest pride and joy of her life.A Celebration of Life Service will be held in the Spring of 2022. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made tothe Petie Dodrill Theatre Endowment Award of Otterbein University, and sent to Otterbein University Attn: Institutional Advancement, 1 S. Grove Street, Westerville, OH, 43081.


Amy Chivington

Sep 1, 2021

Petie took an IS class from me. And, she went to the Columbus Museum of Art with our class. My students totally enjoyed having her in class and hearing some of her wonderful stories.


Mary menke

Sep 5, 2021

So sorry.All our love


Tom Bay

Sep 6, 2021


Carla Mollmann

Sep 6, 2021

Only knew Petie from book club. She was such a delite and we loved her stories. She will truly be missed.


Jeanne (Rosensteel) Perry

Sep 12, 2021


Julia Miller

Sep 12, 2021

Trish, I was saddened to hear of the loss of your mother. Her absence will be felt by so many. I hope you can find comfort in knowing hers was a life well-lived. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. With deepest sympathy, Julie Miller


Norma Webster

Sep 14, 2021

She brought us joy, her wide interests in books, art, politics and Life Long Learning challenged our minds. Her quizzical "Y'know" ended many sentences. I will miss her cruising around in her red Mercedes. I was blessed with her friendship & will miss her tremendously. Norma Webster