Dorothy (Fenrich) Del Guercio passed away peacefully on August 20, 2019 at Morristown Medical Center. She was 82.
Born on March 15, 1937 to business owner John Fenrich and Dorothy (Murphy) Fenrich in South Orange, NJ, she had three siblings, Patricia (deceased), John (deceased) and Pamela.
She and her husband, Ernest Frederick Del Guercio, raised in South Orange/ Maplewood, NJ met when they were in the sixth grade together and he made her laugh continuously. They both graduated from Columbia High School and began dating during their senior year.
Dorothy studied early childhood education at Lasell College in Boston where she started a spirited, singing group which entertained students on campus during study breaks. She also was a part of the College’s choral group where they performed with Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops. Her love of music and dance began at age 10, and she pursued them throughout college and her entire life.
Ernest and Dorothy married on November 21, 1959 at Our Lady of Sorrows in South Orange, NJ. Shortly thereafter they moved to Livingston, NJ where they started their family of three: Laurie born in 1960, Kathleen born in 1963 and Ernest Frederick Del Guercio Jr. “Rick” born in 1968. During that time, Dorothy danced with The Montclair Operetta and Dancing Under the Stars in Livingston. She also began teaching dance at a local studio and summer camps. The family moved to Mendham, NJ in 1972 where Dorothy started The Dorothy Del Guercio School of Dance. It began with friends of her daughters in her home, and grew to a professional studio with over 400 students, a staff of diverse teachers, guest artists, 46 annual recitals and performing dance companies. Dorothy had a special gift for sparking innate creativity in her students ages 4 to 99, bringing out their personal best through dance expression. She believed so strongly that each and every one of her students should feel beautiful and special on stage, and she helped thousands of young people build self-esteem.
In addition to work at her studio, Dorothy contributed numerous hours as a volunteer choreographer at local community theatres and churches, producing spectacular numbers for shows such as The Producers, Annie Get Your Gun, Anything Goes and others. She also worked with children in juvenile detention and adults in senior living so that they too could experience the magic of self-expression through movement. Additionally, Dorothy sang with groups like the Notables and others, including performances at Carnegie Hall. She was a member of her local bell choir.
She is survived by her husband: Ernest Del Guercio, her oldest daughter: Laurie Kirkegaard, son-in-law, James Kirkegaard, grandson Ethan, granddaughter Alexandra, her second oldest daughter: Kathleen Kececi, son-in-law, Erol Kececi, grandson Samuel, grandson Peter and her son: Rick Del Guercio, daughter-in-law Marianne, twin granddaughters Britney and Amber, grandson Robby and grandson John. Additionally, she is survived by her sister Pamela Fenrich, brother-in-law Allen Evans, brother-in-law Richard Del Guercio, sister-in-law, Terry Del Guercio, sister in-law, Eileen Fenrich and 9 nieces and nephews.
In addition to Dorothy’s many contributions to community and her students, she most enjoyed family gatherings at her residence in Mendham and summer home in Normandy Beach, NJ.
Visitation will be held at Bailey Funeral Home, Mendham on Monday, December 30, 2019 from 4-8pm. Funeral Mass Tuesday, December 31, 2019, 10:30 am at St. Joseph Church in Mendham. Contributions can be made to curesma.org (regarding Spinal Muscular Atrophy) in her memory.