Dora Marie Interval was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on March 12, 1927.
Throughout her adult life, Dora didn't reveal much about her youth except for a few memories about the Great Depression. Growing up poor in those days wasn't easy, she recalled, but she had everything she needed: a roof over her head, food on the table, clothes her mother made, and necessities and toys her father crafted. That kind of life, void of material luxuries and having to share a house with five sisters, shaped the frugal, selfless woman she would become.
The product of a strict upbringing, Dora didn't go on many dates, but in 1948, at the age of 21, she married the man who would be her husband for the next 58 years: Jerry Interval, a noted portrait and wedding photographer.
In 1951, Dora gave birth to a baby girl, the first of seven children, whom she raised while managing Jerry's photography business. The only other formal job she had before that time was around 1944 as a secretary at Dravo Corporation, a shipbuilding company located on Neville Island in Pittsburgh.
She once recalled that, after returning from work at Dravo, she regularly had two vertical black streaks under her nostrils she had to clean off. This isn't surprising considering that mills in Pittsburgh operated 24 hours a day to produce millions of tons of steel for the war effort, resulting in the highest levels of air pollution in nearly a century.
In 1963, Dora and Jerry bought a home in Ingomar, Pennsylvania, where they lived and worked for 41 years. When she wasn't busy caring for her family, Dora loved spending time with her sisters and friends, listening and singing along to Frank Sinatra songs, dancing, walking, reading, gardening, completing crossword puzzles, playing board games, and watching her favorite television shows.
In their later years, Dora and Jerry moved out of the Ingomar home and lived in a condominium in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. After Jerry died in 2006, she volunteered for the local Meals on Wheels organization and cavorted with newfound friends she met there and at the condo, which she moved out of in 2012.
After renting a small home in Wexford, Pennsylvania, she moved into an independent-living apartment at St. Barnabas, a retirement home located in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania. In her mid 80s, Dora was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and died from complications relating to that on February 15, 2017, less than a month before her 90th birthday.
Her legacy is her family, which, in addition to seven children, includes 11 grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and one great-grandchild on the way. Her family and friends miss her more than she will ever know.
1923–2006 (m. 1948)
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