September 25, 2008

Dorothy Hayward Thomson

Dorothy Thomson embarked on a political career by running for Coral Gables Commissioner in 1979.  She won, beating out five other candidates including the president of the Chamber of Commerce and a retired police chief.  She was elected to a two-year term and re-elected to a four-year term in 1981, winning in all the voting precincts.  In 1985, she was elected mayor, becoming the first lady mayor of the City of Coral Gables.  She held this post for one term, and went on to work for Florida Governor Martinez, who appointed her to various state committees.  A few years later, she returned to local politics, serving two more terms as city commissioner from 1993 - 2001.  She considers her greatest political achievement to be the saving of the Biltmore Hotel from destruction.  She also founded the Coral Gables Citizens Crime Watch.  She received the Good Government Award from the Coral Gables Jaycees and was awarded a life membership in the Junior Orange Bowl, as well as numberous other awards and recognition for outstanding service to the community of Coral Gables.  
Despite all of her accomplishments, Dorothy regretted not getting a college degree, so went back to school in the mid-70's, earning a degree from the University of Miami in December, 2008.
While Dorothy's mother came from a newly immigrated Swedish family -- arriving through Ellis Island -- her father's family was mostly English.  The Hayward family tree goes back to the beginnings of colonial time with well established roots in the colony of Massachusetts, including Salem, Massachusetts during the time of the infamous witch hunts.  That part of her family history has yet to be explored!
Jack and Dorothy had four children: Janice Eileen (b. August 19, 1957), Joanne Elaine (b. May 28, 1959), June Elizabeth (b. June 10, 1961) and Robert Hayward Eugene (b. April 16, 1966).  As they say, "Three JETs and a RHET."  All were born at Coral Gables Hospital and grew up in Coral Gables.  The three daughters have spread out across the country, raising families and pursuing careers far from home.  Robert Thomson is the only one who remained in Miami where he is a  Coral Gables police officer.  He is married to Kimberly Beck with whom he has three children: Brielle, Bryce and Brenton - "The Brrrrs."


Anonymous said...

Hey June Bug...
You should recount the story of your parents' lightning-quick courtship. Quite literally love at first sight.

June Sparks said...

Dear Anonymous, are you one of my cousins? Vincent? Wendell? Lauren? Why didn't you leave your name?