Dorothy Kathryn Fort was born in Nashville, TN on November 27, 1944 to William Henry Fort, Jr. and Geraldine Bennett Fort Hale, the second of their two daughters. Dorothy attended First Baptist Church – 8th Avenue with her parents, joining while still a child, and participating regularly on piano in the Sunday church services.
Educated in the public schools of Nashville, Dorothy excelled while taking music lessons from Fisk University faculty. Demonstrating musical talent early, at age nine she performed in a solo piano concert at Fisk Chapel, including some of her own compositions. She continued her interest and shared her musical talent as a member of both the Washington Junior High and Pearl High School marching and concert bands then sang in the Fisk University choir, even becoming an alto performer in Chicago IL in a group founded and conducted by a former Fisk Jubilee Singer in tribute to the Original Fisk Jubilee Singers. Her love of music kept her busy in retirement supporting the local jazz performers, schools, and venues.
At Fisk University, and by then known as Dot, she majored in mathematics and was among the first Fiskites hired by International Business Machines on graduation in 1965. During her tenure with IBM, she served in their education unit training employees in the business world as computers came on board also serving as a systems analyst bringing business computers “up” in time for the next day of work. IBM detailed Dot to most of the major cities across the nation as well as to Paris and briefly to Germany. On retiring, Dot conducted a retirement career teaching software programs with independent companies.
Unexpectedly hospitalized on October 10, 2022, Dorothy’s body began to shut down; quietly on November 9, 2022, she took her last breath. Dorothy left to celebrate her life, her sister, Jane G. Fort and nephew, Sekou Fort Morrison/Sekou Fort Writes, both of Nashville; brother-and sister-in-law, George Joseph and Janet Humdy Morrison of Milton MA & Hernando, FL; nephew Gregory J. Morrison of West Palm Beach, FL; cousins, B. Smith, Paula Smith (Joseph) Blunt, and Wanda Smith all of DC/MD/VA; cousin, Kevin L. (Patricia) Smith of West Palm Beach, FL; niece, Angelique K (Byron) Chamberlain of CA; dear friend Billie Calloway of Nashville as well as numerous additional cousins and dear friends from childhood, college years, her work career, and retirement years.
Those who would like to memorialize Dorothy financially may make a donation to the Fort Family Scholarship at First Baptist Church Capitol Hill &/or to the Fisk University General Fund.
May God’s blessings embrace each and every one for all the loving, caring words and generous offers of well-being and support that sustained Dorothy’s family through these past few weeks.
The Celebration of Life Service will live streamed on FBCCH's (First Baptist Capitol Hill Church) website.