Honoring The Legacy of Dorothy Richards

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Join us in honoring the legacy of former Board Chair, Dorothy Richards, and her commitment to the women, children, and families served by CLARE|MATRIX.

It is no secret that Dorothy Richards impacted many lives!  Being a woman in recovery for more than 46 years, she took her own experiences and used them to support individuals through their journey towards healing and fulfillment, living free of alcohol and substance abuse.

Born in New York, spunky Dorothy Richards worked for many years in the advertising field at Ogilvy, Benson & Mather and at BBDO.  While traveling, she fell in love with California landscape and traded her snow boots for sandals, making Los Angeles her permanent home.  Dorothy married and reared two lovely daughters.  In 1986, she joined the administration of Marymount High School, where she worked for more than 21 years, until retiring in 2007.

Dorothy joined the Board of Directors at the CLARE Foundation in 1989 and actively served for 32 years.  As a founding board member of CLARE|MATRIX, Dorothy diligently advanced our mission to ensure that the most vulnerable in the community could receive treatment and compassionate care, supported by peers and professionals.  While she held many positions on the board, most noted was her service as Board Chair from 1997 – 1999, and more recently, an induction onto the Emeritus Board.

Helping women in recovery was one of Dorothy’s passions.  She actively worked with the CLARE|MATRIX Women’s Expansion Project that offers services to pregnant and postpartum women.  In 2005, Dorothy was a recipient of the Spirit Award, an honor bequeathed to individuals who exemplify CLARE|MATRIX’s vision of saving lives through recovery, in deeply personal and inspirational ways.  In addition, The Dorothy Richards Fund for Women in Recovery was established, designed to provide women without resources for treatment, access to care at CLARE|MATRIX.

Dorothy’s service to CLARE|MATRIX is one that cannot be encapsulated.  Believing in our mission, meant to Dorothy, stepping in to help when and how needed.  She touched the lives of not only those in need of treatment, but staff as well.  Dorothy always wore warm smiles, shared funny stories and spoke kindly to everyone she encountered on the campus of CLARE|MATRIX.  And because she kept her finger on the pulse of the organization, it wasn’t unlike her to call or send little notes of thanks to staff.  Grand or small, she made a difference in the lives of many and her presence will surely be missed.

Dorothy is survived by her daughters, Arline and Nicole.  Contributions made to honor Dorothy’s legacy will be directed to The Dorothy Richards Memorial Fund supporting the women served by CLARE|MATRIX.

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Shireen Ossanlo

Dorothy was one of my first friends are CLARE|MATRIX. I will greatly miss our weekly phone calls that she said would only be a quick second but often time last 30-45 minutes. She had a huge heart and had a wealth of knowledge. I’m so grateful to have known her, even if it was just for a short time. Sending prayers and hugs to her family!

Deb Feinberg

Dorothy was a true friend and an inspiration. She was as close a friend as anyone can be, and I had the additional honor of being mentored by her on the Board. Her 32 year commitment to CLARE|MATRIX was remarkable, and she touched the lives of thousands as a result of her years on the board. Godspeed, dear Dorothy. You are deeply missed and loved forever.

Elizabeth Rossotto

I’m very fortunate to have known Dorothy. Her words of wisdom will stay with me forever, as will her deep dedication to service in the recovery field. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. Love you forever Dorothy!

Mary deKernion

I will miss her cheery hello at Mass on Sunday. What a breath of fresh air she has always been.

Kevin Fahy

Dorothy was one in a million. So kind & generous with her time. She invited me to join Clare board in 2005. She always inspired me to do more for others. I will always have fond memeries of our time together .