In Loving Memory of Ira ‘Tommy’ Dorsey: 1931-2022


“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” – Matthew 5:9. 

Ira Albert “Tommy” Dorsey, age 91, went home to be with the Lord after a brief illness on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022, in Centralia, Washington, surrounded by his loving family. 

Tom was born in Outlook, Washington on Nov. 5, 1931, to parents Ira and Iva Dorsey. His formative years were spent in Oakville and Centralia. Tom graduated from Centralia High School in 1951 where he participated in a variety of school activities to include football and boxing.

A year after graduating from high school, Tom received a letter in the mail that was not too uncommon for his generation, his draft notice. In 1952, Tom was inducted into the U.S. Army and was assigned to Army basic training at Camp Roberts, California. He then transferred to the 7th Armored Division Special Training School. After he completed training, Tom was transferred overseas where he participated in the closing months of the Korean War, assigned to the 92nd Field Artillery Battalion.

Upon completing his military service, Tom worked in a variety of jobs in the Centralia area. During that time, he attended Centralia Junior College where he had the opportunity to play a few more downs of football.

Tom began his law enforcement career in 1961, working as a reserve officer for the Centralia Police Department. In 1968, he transitioned to full-time duty. Centralia #315 signed out of service for the last time in January of 1992, and at the time of his death, he was the oldest living, retired Centralia police officer. 

In retirement, Tom enjoyed visiting with family and friends and was often seen on his daily walks around town. Tom also enjoyed meeting up with friends at Tolmie State Park for a day of birdwatching. Two of his favorite pastimes were woodworking and making firewood utilizing his vintage Case dozer and Ford tractor. 

Tom was a giving, caring and selfless soul who touched the lives of many people. The cards he sent his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, with envelopes embellished with abundant kid friendly stickers, will be a treasured memory. He will truly be missed and will be impossible to be forgotten. 

Tom is lovingly remembered by his children, Ellen (Jim) Roe, Brian (Rachel) Dorsey and Scott (Susie) Dorsey; his grandchildren, Evan (Lindsay) Roe, Carlee (Josue) Avina, Levi (Tiffaney) Dorsey, Lindsey (Andrew) Ulrich, Crista (Justin) Swift, Emilie Dorsey, Zak Dorsey and Natalie Dorsey; and his great-grandchildren, Oliver, Elias, Magnus, Weston, Diana and Eliyana. 

Tom is preceded in death by his parents, Ira and Iva; former wife Allene; sisters Dora, Barbara, Jessie, Louise and Hazel; and brothers Bob and Charlie.

Tom’s family would like to thank the Chehalis Police Department, the Chehalis Fire Department, Providence Centralia Hospital, and Sticklin’s Funeral Chapel for their compassionate care and support.

A celebration of his life will be held in the summer. Once a date is set for Tom’s memorial service, a notice will go out to relatives, friends and coworkers.