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Dorothy Mae Newton Key

September 8, 1928 January 19, 2022
Dorothy Mae Newton  Key
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Obituary for Dorothy Mae Newton Key

Dorothy Mae Newton Key, age 93 of Greensboro, GA passed away peacefully on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 with her family by her side. She was born in Greene County on September 8, 1928 to the late Reuben Joseph Newton and Emma Massey Newton. She grew up in rural Greene County, and after graduating high school, she moved to Atlanta. There, she met her husband while working at the downtown Sears Roebuck. She married the love of her life, J.W. Key, in 1948 and together, they raised their children and enjoyed living life in Atlanta alongside neighbors who became like family. Widowed at an early age, she provided for her children by working in and managing the local school cafeteria, where she was famous for serving her homemade cinnamon rolls. Later, she moved back to Greensboro where she became the administrator of Greene Point Nursing Home in Union Point, GA, and eventually regional manager for the parent company Beverly Enterprises. She won numerous awards and accolades for her roles, but she was most proud of the loving home she and her beloved staff provided for so many residents of Greene Point for over thirty years. She was past president of the Greensboro Pilot Club and was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Greensboro.


Cooking was her love language. She made countless coconut cakes for her nieces and nephews at Christmas. Whether it was just for her chicken salad and homemade pickles, or for an entire Southern spread, she loved having family over to her home to eat, and sending them home with an abundance of leftovers. She also set the standard for all other grandmothers’ fried chicken, and thankfully found great joy in sharing her secrets. When not cooking, throughout her life she enjoyed reading, sewing, fishing, playing poker, and having a good cup of black coffee. She had the greenest of thumbs, whether tending to her large garden when she lived in the country, or later harvesting hundreds of cherry tomatoes from pots on her condo’s small back patio. She was fiercely independent, had immeasurable grit and determination, always had a listening ear, gave great hugs and even better advice.


She is preceded in death by her husband Jacob Waller Key and her siblings, Irene O’Neal, Dewey Newton, Juanita Steele, and Mae Newton. She is survived by her daughter Sharon Key of Greensboro, GA; son Howell Key (Tamara) of Elberton, GA; grandchildren Tori Copelan Chillemi (Tommy), Wendy Copelan McDowell (David), Melissa Key LeClair (Adam), Jacob Key, and Ethan Key; great grandchildren Thomas and Hudson Chillemi, Graham McDowell, Karleigh LeClair, and Dustin, Madison and Gracelyn Key; and many nieces and nephews.


A celebration of her ninety three years of life will be held on Saturday, January 29 at 2:00 pm at the First Presbyterian Church of Greensboro, GA with Reverend Meg Jackson Clark officiating. The family will receive friends after the service. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Greensboro, 117 South Main Street, Greensboro, GA 30642.

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