Pass me not, O gentle Savior, Hear my humble cry; While on others Thou art calling, Do not pass me by. Savior, Savior, Hear my humble cry; While on others Thou art calling, Do not pass me by.
Let me at Thy throne of mercy Find a sweet relief; Kneeling there in deep contrition, Help my unbelief. Savior, Savior, Hear my humble cry; While on others Thou art calling, Do not pass me by.
Trusting only in Thy merit, Would I seek Thy face; Heal my wounded, broken spirit, Save me by Thy grace. Savior, Savior, Hear my humble cry; While on others Thou art calling, Do not pass me by.
Thou the spring of all my comfort, More than life to me; Whom have I on earth beside Thee? Whom in heaven but Thee? Savior, Savior, Hear my humble cry; While on others Thou art calling, Do not pass me by.
10:00 am to 10:30 am - THE FAMILY HOUR Organ Prelude
Processional of the Family
Musical Tribute—Israel Baptist Church Music Ministry Under the Direction of Brother Eldridge Branch The Final Viewing
10:30 am - CELEBRATION OF A LIFE WELL LIVED Minister Gregory Allen, Officiating
Opening Hymn ........................................................................................................................ Pass Me Not
Old Testament Scripture (Psalm 23) ...................................................................... Rev. Edward Mason New Testament Scripture (John 14:1-4) ....................................................... Minister Eddie Stallworth Prayer .....................................................................................................................Deacon James Gardner
Musical Selection ......................................................................... Israel Baptist Church Music Ministry
Cards, Resolutions, and Acknowledgements ..................Sisters Odessa Dorkins and Marjorie Lilly Reflections of a Life Well Lived · Rev. Andrew Ferges, President, Maryland Baptist State Convention · Mrs. Valerie Green, Friend · Bro. Sherman Wilkins, Israel Baptist Church · Ms. Dionne Nicole Curbeam, Daughter
Musical Selection ............................................................................................................ Elder Kevin Carr Preached Word................................................................................................ Rev. H. Walden Wilson, II Invitation to Christian Discipleship
Morticians in Charge
Recessional—Highway to Heaven
2:00 pm - INTERMENT Opening Prayer Poetic Verse
Act of Committal Closing Prayer
3:30 pm - REPAST
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)
Dorothy was born September 13, 1955, in Petersburg, Virginia, to Mrs. Lillie Mae Bonner and the late Mr. William Sidney Bonner. As an infant, Dorothy was brought to Baltimore, Maryland, by her maternal grandparents, the late Mr. Robert “Eddie” and Jennie Eva Matthews, who were Momma and Daddy. Dorothy was a blessing to their lives, and they received great joy in raising Dorothy. Likewise, Dorothy was thankful to be blessed with them, and treasured the times shared with Momma and Daddy.
Dorothy and her family initially lived on Bradford Street, and later moved to Federal Street. Growing up, Dorothy gained many friends in the neighborhood, many of whom are still friends to this day. Her cousin, Yvonne Foster Wynn, recalled how, “we would have plays in Dorothy’s parents’ basement, and Dorothy would have to be the total boss because she wrote the play!” Those growing up with her have fond memories of Dorothy playing in the neighborhood, sitting on the marble stoops chatting the night away, playing music, and dancing.
Dorothy started her primary education at Patrick Henry School and Primary School Number 37. Once that school closed, she completed her primary school education at Collington Square Elementary School, followed by attending Herring Run Junior High School. During these years, Dorothy studied music and learned how to play the piano, clarinet, and violin. After encouragement from her big cousin Butchie, Dorothy attended Edmondson Senior High School upon completion of Herring Run. Upon arriving to Edmondson, the school wasn’t all it was cracked up to be (at least in Dorothy’s eyes) and she especially didn’t enjoy the long commute from East Baltimore to West Baltimore. During the summer after her first year at Edmondson, Dorothy secured a summer job at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School with the Community Development Center, and worked alongside many of the powerful East Baltimore community activists and politicians, including Nathan Irby and Hattie Harrison. She enjoyed working with
them and interacting with the people of Dunbar. After this experience, Dorothy wanted to become a Dunbar Poet. She told Momma and Daddy of her desire to transfer to Dunbar, and solicited the help of Mrs. Harrison to squash her parents’ concerns and misunderstandings about transferring to a new school. They agreed to Dorothy transferring, and she started the next school year at the Paul Laurence Dunbar Senior High School, and graduated in 1973, the final cohort to graduate from the Dunbar building on Caroline Street. After high school, Dorothy enrolled at Coppin State College (now University). She soon left Coppin and gained employment at Johns Hopkins Hospital. But earning her college degree was always in her vision. While working full-time, Dorothy completed her Associates degree from Community College of Baltimore (CCB, now Baltimore City Community College). After completing CCB, Dorothy took courses at the University of Maryland College Park and Towson University. She finally transferred her credits to the University of Baltimore, where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Fall 1997.
While at Dunbar, Dorothy participated in a work co-op program, where she spent a portion of her senior year working at the C & P Telephone Company. There, she honed her administrative skills in typing, office administration, and note-taking. After leaving Coppin, Dorothy started employment at Johns Hopkins Hospital. A turning point in Dorothy’s career was when she was filling-in for a secretary, and one of the hospital administrators noticed her effective office multitasking: helping guests, answering telephone calls, all completed with courtesy, proficiency, and professionalism. So impressed with Dorothy’s work ethic and skill, the administrator gave Dorothy a job in purchasing with the NICU. After many years of working at John Hopkins, Dorothy gained employment at American Red Cross as a Purchasing Agent. Subsequently, Dorothy moved to Greater Baltimore Medical Center as a Purchasing Agent. Upon completing her baccalaureate degree at University of Baltimore, Dorothy desired to use her degree to advance her career. She was hired by the Maryland State Department of Education as a Procurement Officer, and started in November 1999. On December 10, 2014, Dorothy earned the position of Administrator III (Procurement Manager) at the Department of Rehabilitation Services, where she remained until her passing.
Dorothy was united in Holy Matrimony to Willie M. Curbeam in April 1975. Although their marriage ended in divorce, the greatest blessing of her life was produced from this union: her daughter, Dionne Nicole Curbeam. Dorothy vowed to raise Dionne as a single parent, and dedicated her life to ensuring her daughter would have a positive life.
Later in life, Dorothy discovered love again. Through her ministry work in the Church Clerk’s Office, Dorothy met Deacon Thomas Richburg. They shared a special and loving relationship. After many years of courtship, Dorothy and Thomas were wedded on February 14, 2008.
Following in her Momma, Daddy, and Aunt Alease Knight’s footsteps, Dorothy became a second-generation member of Israel Baptist Church. She was baptized by the late Rev. Edmond D. Meade, Sr. on October 25, 1964. She served faithfully under Pastor Meade and later under Pastor H. Walden Wilson, II.
She served as the Assistant Church Clerk under Deacon Thomas Richburg. After his passing, Dorothy was elevated to the role of Church Clerk, the first woman to hold this position at Israel Baptist Church. She absolutely loved doing the work of Church Clerk. She had great joy in getting to know the members, tabulating the data, and maintaining the important records. It was a running joke that if you don’t know either Pastor Wilson or Sister Dorothy Bonner Richburg, then you really aren’t a member of Israel!
Dorothy was a staple at Israel Baptist Church. She would spend just as much time at the church as she would at her regular job. She loved her ministry work. She would often joke, “A day without going to Israel is like a day without sunshine!” Dorothy was the epitome of a faithful, dedicated disciple. Anything she was asked in the name of ministry, she would willingly do it, without complaint or strife. Without a doubt, she loved her church and her pastor. She would do anything in her power to support the work of the ministry.
During her lifetime membership at Israel, she was involved in countless programs, committees, events, and annual days, including: Musician for the Sunday School and BTU Congress; Superintendent of Sunday School; Director of Vacation Bible School; Advisor for the Youth Ushers; Advisor for the Youth Ministry; Chairperson for the 124th and 125th Church Anniversaries; Leader of the Christian Education Committee; served on the Christian Education Committee that wrote the New Members’ Curriculum; Member of Senior Ushers, Women’s Ministry, Outreach Ministry, Pastor’s Aid/Pastor’s Support Ministry, Building Team, Vision Furtherance Committee, Barnabas Ministry, Pastor’s Anniversary Committee, Christ Cares Ministry, Culinary Ministry, Annual Family & Friends Day Committee, and Budget Committee; and consecrated as a Deaconess. Really, she was involved in pretty much EVERYTHING at Israel Baptist Church.
Her ministry work extended to a long-time connection with the Maryland Baptist State Convention. She attended many of their events and supported their activities. Throughout the years, Dorothy served in many capacities, including: Advisor to the Children’s Department; Dean of the Churchwide Institute; Director of Christian Education; and Member of the Women’s Auxiliary.
Dorothy enjoyed traveling and had the opportunity to visit several cities and states like New Orleans, LA; Orlando, FL; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; and Houston, TX. Dorothy loved taking cruises. She and her husband, Thomas, would cruise to different islands. In March 2017, Dorothy surprised her daughter, Dionne, with a cruise.
She was full of love and loved people. You became family. She genuinely cared about others, and would support others the best way she could.
Her love was not only for people, but also for animals. Dorothy would regularly feed the birds (she didn’t want the birds to be hungry!). She especially had an affinity for cats. She would keep dry food in her car to feed stray cats that may cross her path. At her daughter’s home, she adopted several outdoor cats, whom she called her “Motley Crew” and named each one of the cats: Friend; Baby; Homie; Black-and-White; and Brownie. Her tribe of cats would see her coming and would wait for her. Dorothy always said that she wasn’t a drinker or gambler, but definitely a shopper! Yes…shopping was her vice. She enjoyed going on shopping trips, making regular trips to the mall, and visiting the outlets in Lancaster. She adorned the most elegant hats and stunning suits. She was a great cook and enjoyed cooking. It was routine for her to make fried steak fish, fried lake trout, fried chicken wings, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, sweet potatoes, and her specialty dish -crab cakes (only with jumbo lump crab meat, preferably from Maryland). Ironically, she didn’t eat pigs’ feet or chitterlings, but could make them exceptionally well, as expressed by the many people that would eat them. Although she enjoyed cooking, she loved going out to eat (a journey to Cracker Barrel was one of her favorites). She especially looked forward to various Restaurant Weeks in the area so she could try new spots. Sundays were always sacred, naturally for worship, but also for the Baltimore Ravens! Dorothy was a huge Baltimore Ravens fan and watched virtually every game. She wasn’t a fair-weather fan. In their years of distress, Dorothy still supported her Ravens.
Dorothy was a Pepsi-holic! She had to have a good Pepsi, especially a Big Gulp from 7-11. Instead of starting off her morning with coffee, she’d start it with a Pepsi. She loved the television shows “In the Heat of the Night,” and “Matlock.” She couldn’t resist anything from Tyler Perry, most recently being hooked on “The Have and Have Nots” and “If Loving You is Wrong.”
But more than anything, Dorothy enjoyed hanging with her daughter, Dionne. They would enjoy afternoons (and midnights) at the mall, taking various day trips, eating at different restaurants, and attending plays.
In February 2017, Dorothy missed the Lord’s Supper because she was ill (it was her first time missing a Lord’s Supper in close to 20 years). After several tests, Dorothy was diagnosed with cancer. In spite of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, the cancer proved to be very aggressive, and she succumbed to the disease.
Saturday, March 3, 2018, which would be her next-to-last fun outing, Dorothy declared that she was not afraid to die. She knew her Lord. She was at peace. A couple of weeks later, while praying, Dorothy uttered, “We have to know [Jesus] if we want to see heaven.” Rest assured, Dorothy knew Jesus, so there was no reason for her to fear death. On Sunday, May 13, 2018 – a rainy Mother’s Day morning – at approximately 11:15 am, with her daughter by her side, Dorothy transitioned from life on earth to life eternally. At that moment, she became reunited with many of her loved ones, including husband Thomas; momma Jennie; daddy Robert; father William; stepdaughter Casandra; many aunts, including Alease Knight; many uncles, including William Matthews; and brother-in-law, Earl Walker. Most importantly, she was able to see her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for herself.
Without a doubt, Dorothy was a genuinely sweet and loving woman. She didn’t believe in having cross words with anybody. She didn’t believe in creating or promoting drama. She was a peacemaker. It was all about spreading love and kindness to anybody and everybody. To know her was to love her. She has a great legacy to pass to generations to come. While she is in heaven, she leaves the following here on earth to treasure great memories and continue her legacy: daughter, Dionne Nicole Curbeam; mother, Lillie Mae Bonner; sisters Shirley Walker, Barbara DeBose (Henry), and Shirley Winbush (James); nieces Katrina Walker, Shirita Winbush, Giavanni DeBose, Angela DeBose; great-niece Arianne DeBose; great-nephew Brayden Walker; numerous cousins, including devoted Martha Moore; many devoted friends, including Brenda and Clifton Malloy, Billy and Doris Mackins; stepchildren Thomas Richburg (Curray), Anthony Richburg, Jacqueline Burgess, Robert Richburg (Stacey) and Elliott Richburg; the Richburg family; cats Snoopy, Lil’ Lady, and Callie; the Israel Baptist Church family; Maryland State Department of Education family; the Department of Rehabilitation Services family; Maryland Baptist Convention family; and numerous friends and loved ones.
Typically, I’m pretty good with words. Through this experience, I struggled to find the proper words to adequately express my myriad of feelings and roller coaster of emotions. Needless to say, I didn’t do a good job, as there really aren’t any words to express the convergence of sadness, peace, joy, fear, anxiety, and love. (Hmmm...perhaps this is a good time to create a word and petition Webster’s Dictionary to include it? Yup—I’m still coming up with random ideas!)
One thing I can properly express is the magnitude and depth of your motherhood. “Dot-Dot,” my “Little Momma,” you were an outstanding mother, the absolute best that anyone could want. At first, I was disturbed that you died on Mother’s Day. But isn’t it ironic that you transitioned on a day celebrating what you most relished, being a mother? It was so majestic that harsh rains ceased and the clouds briefly opened at the time of you taking your last breath. I’m so thankful I was with you as you transitioned to eternal life.
There are millions of things that I could thank you for. (The reality is that you can’t read this now, so I’m thankful that I told you while you were alive to know it.) But, for reflection sake, let me just name a few. I thank you for living a life that was a great model of Christian womanhood. Thank you for the sacrifices you made to ensure that I had a good quality of life, many of the sacrifices I didn’t even realize. You always wanted the best for me, and did everything within your power to make sure that I had it. Thank you for being my ultimate cheerleader, my confidant, my shoulder to cry on, my reality check, and my best friend. Now Dot-Dot, I know that you were deathly worried, even petrified, about me after your passing. Even in your sickness, you were more worried about me than yourself. But rest assured that I will be fine. (I know you deputized several people to look after me, and they are doing their job!) While life without you will never be the same and I will miss you like crazy, DIONNE WILL BE OK. Remember, you taught me strength and resilience that will force me to push forward, even in darkness. I still remember your words, “don’t go out looking any kind of way!! Keep that hair done, your clothes right, and your head up!” I will venture to find my new normal without you, promising to live my life to the fullest and honor your legacy by the works I continue to do. Prior to your death, you told me in a dream that this summer, look for you among the stars. Every starry summer night, I’ll look up and seek the essence of your spirit. Shucks, I may even name a star after you! Yes...we are now separated by death, but my love for you continues to live. I am the woman that I am because of you. Thank you for being the best blessing of my life. Through me, your legacy will always live. Love eternally, Dionne
Dear God, please take care of my baby girl, The one with big eyes and soft curls. She was special, as you should know, I really didn't want to let her go. She touched the hearts of everyone she knew. Letting her go was so hard to do. Her smile could brighten up the darkest room. I wish you didn't have to take her so soon. She loves to sing all kinds of songs, Please tell her that she did no wrong. Would you comfort her and hold her in your arms tight, And tell her she is missed every day and night. Please tell her she is loved so very dear I'll say it every day for her to hear Her life on earth is now completed For lessons I'm sure you felt I needed. Tell her I promise to see her again someday When that will be, I really can't say I promise to make up for the time that's past To hold her and comfort her, in my arms at last. Love, Mom Mae
We are very sad that you are gone. Thank you for rescuing us and giving us a loving home! We love you so much. You always fed us, gave us treats and toys, rubbed us, and played with us. We will miss you a whole bunch.
Snoopy, Lilâ€™ Lady, and Callie
Although we are sad without you And wish that you were here, Within our hearts, your lovely smile Still shines bright and clean. We treasure all of those memories Of growing up with you, The secrets we would always share The childish things we’d do. And as the years passed quickly by We grew closer still. We miss you, dear sister, And you know we always will. Love, Shirley, Barbara, and Shirley
You were very special And that’s why it’s hard To put all of our feelings in one You were called, you had to go And it makes us feel sad today Because it feels so very wrong. You could no longer stay As you’re now with the angels And with the Lord above I’d like to send a hug to you And also lots of love. So sleep well dear Auntie And we’ll try not to feel distressed. You were a shining light And you certainly were the best. Love, Katrina, Shirita, Giavanni, and Angela Brayden and Arianne
My 62 year journey was beautiful. There were more good times than bad times. I came across good friends who stood by me, those who upheld my strength when it was low. Iâ€™m thankful that I lived the life that I desired to live. I have no regrets. I have peace. So, I smile and bid you goodbye.
PALLBEARERS Family and Friends FLOWER BEARERS The Deaconess Ministry of Israel Baptist Church PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Vaughn Greene Funeral Home 4905 York Road Baltimore, Maryland 21212 410-433-7500 INTERMENT Maryland National Memorial Park 13300 Baltimore Avenue Laurel, MD 20707 301-210-6464 MEMORIAL TRIBUTE WEBSITE
Visit the online memorial tribute for Dorothy Mae Bonner Richburg. There, you will see additional picture and video reflections of Dorothyâ€™s life. You may also leave your own pictures, videos, stories, and tributes.
The family of Mrs. Dorothy Mae Bonner Richburg wishes to thank everybody for their acts of kindness, love, and courtesy during her illness and passing, with extra special thanks to the Israel Baptist Church of Baltimore City, Maryland Department of Rehabilitation Services, Coppin State University, Mrs. Brenda Malloy, Mrs. Crystal Day-Black, and Mrs. Alice Carrington.
Mrs. Dorothy Mae Bonner Richburg transition to eternal life on Sunday, May 13, 2018. Her funeral was held on Monday, May 21, 2018 at Israel...
Published on May 21, 2018
Mrs. Dorothy Mae Bonner Richburg transition to eternal life on Sunday, May 13, 2018. Her funeral was held on Monday, May 21, 2018 at Israel...