Still Going Strong at 90

By Patrice Peterson | February 23, 2016 

          Volunteering keeps Dorrine Spatafore busy. Bowling keeps her active. And spending time with her great-granddaughters keeps her young.

At 90 years of age, she shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

          For more than 25 years, Dorrine has volunteered her services for DARTS. A friend “dragged her along” one day, and she stayed because of “all the really nice people” she works with at DARTS, who treat everyone with respect – both the volunteers and the people they help.

          “I’ve been lucky to have a good arrangement so I can stay in my home in Mendota Heights, where I’ve been since 1987,” Dorrine says. “My grandson Joe lives with me, and he helps me around the house, especially with the snow shoveling and lawn mowing. I’ve seen where DARTS provides those kinds of services that allow other seniors to remain in their homes, too.”

Born and raised in Aberdeen, South Dakota, Dorrine married her high school sweetheart, Bob, and they moved to the Twin Cities soon after. They were married for 51 years before he passed away in 1999.

          She volunteered for the first time at Douglas Elementary when her children were in grade school. A few years later she took a “paying job” at Cherokee Heights Elementary and stayed for 25 years. After her “retirement,” she began volunteering again, and now she spends one day a week at the DARTS Reception Desk.

          Another day of the week she bowls in a “Senior League” at Drkula’s in Inver Grove Heights. “My average is somewhere between 120 and 130,” she says, “but it used to be 140.”

On Sundays, she’s also the “Coffee Lady” between services at St. James Lutheran Church in West St. Paul, where she greets everyone and serves coffee “instead of just going to church and out the door afterwards.”

           “I have two sons and four grandsons, and now I am blessed with four great-granddaughters, and I love spending time with all of them,” Dorrine adds.  “Community, church and family – that’s what it’s all about.”