Dorothy A. Burley, affectionately known as “Dot” was born on June 10, 1942 to Lucille Jones and the late Albert Hall. Dot was raised by the late Russell and Oretha Grinnage. She was a lifelong resident of Camden, New Jersey, attended Camden City schools and was a 1960 graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School.
She met and married Wilbert Burley and from this union they had two children, Anthony and Dana Burley. As a working mother of two children, Dot received her Associate’s Degree in Human Services at Camden County College and then attended Glassboro State College where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. She remained focused on her education by taking additional education courses at Rutgers University while still committed to her family, friends and community.
Dot had a 16-year teaching career in the Camden City Public Schools. She worked in various positions during her teaching tenure; her first teaching job was at Yorkship School teaching second and third grades, she worked at McGraw School as a Head Teacher, East Camden Middle School as a Computer Center Teacher, Cramer School teaching basic skills and she taught an evening GED Mathematics course at Woodrow Wilson High School.
Dot was sworn into office as the first African American Female Municipal Clerk for the City of Camden in 1993. She made history and set the stage for many young women to follow. She later worked and retired from CAMcare Health Corporation as the Director of Human Resources. After retiring, she continued to volunteer and assist in community service projects for the residents of Camden City.
Some of Dot’s past appointed and elected membership positions include: Commissioner for the Camden County Board of Elections, Chairperson of the Housing Authority of the City of Camden, Chairperson of the Alcohol Beverage Control Board, President of Girls on the Move Youth Foundation, Commissioner for the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority (CCMUA) and a member of the National and Camden Education Association.
Dot was a past and/or present member of the following organizations: The Advisory Board for the Camden City Board of Education, Drug Free Life Committee, Senior Christmas Luncheon Committee, Whitman Park Neighbors Association, Teddy’s Toys for Tots, Fairview Neighbors, and the Camden County and Camden City Democratic Committees.
Dot was instrumental in working with and campaigning for numerous elected officials on the Federal, State, County and Municipal levels to better serve her community and the needs of Camden City residents.
She received numerous acknowledgments and honors which include – Certificate of Achievements for Outstanding Accomplishments and Contributions to the City of Camden, Camden City Appreciation for Devoted and Invaluable Service, The Black Image Award, Calvary Baptist Church Service Award and Camden Teacher of the Year.
Dot never had time to enjoy her retirement because she worked diligently every day in what-ever endeavor that she encountered for that day. The most important things in her life were not things, but her family and extended family. She believed that all children should be privileged to receive a fair and just education. When she found time for herself she enjoyed reading and shopping.
Dot took her eternal rest on Monday, April 16, 2018. She was preceded in death by her honorary parents, Russell and Oretha Grinnage; granddaughter, Janyll Burley and sisters, Doreen A Boyd and Lorraine Huggins.
She leaves to cherish her memory her mother, Lucille Boyd; children, Anthony Burley and Dana Burley; sisters, Jerolyn Washington, Betsy Johnson and Elaine Boyd; brothers, Jerome, Paul and Cordell (Rhonda); grandchildren, Michael Mayers and Tonee Burley; three great-grandchildren; grand dog Kaia; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family of godchildren; adopted grandchildren and friends.