In Memory of






Obituary for Dorathy Ann "Dottie" Bacheller (Perry)

We mourn the loss of our mother and friend, Dottie Bacheller, a remarkable woman who overcame adversity and disability to become an accomplished scholar and educator, adopted five wonderful children, and never stopped working to make a world based in kindness, reason, and equal justice for all.

Dorathy Ann (“Dottie”) Perry was born in Hornell, NY, in 1933, and grew up in Johnstown, NY with her mother, Dorothy Auchanpaugh (nee Perry) and stepfather Paul Auchanpaugh. Legally blind from a young age, Dottie graduated 10th in her class at Gloversville High School and earned her bachelor's degree in teaching from Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY. A passionate scholar despite her visual impairment, Dottie went on to earn several advanced degrees in psychology and education from the New York State University System, as well as a Ph.D. in Education from Kennedy-Western University in 2003.

A lifelong educator for 60 years, Dottie was the first visually impaired person to receive a teaching certificate in the State of New York. She worked throughout her career developing and advocating for programs and curricula to increase access to education and the workplace for people with disabilities. She served in public education as a teacher and administrator in Oneonta, NY, advised Governor Nelson Rockefeller on expanding access to education for persons with disabilities, and later joined the education faculty at Hartwick College, her alma mater. With unwavering determination, she pursued her passion for learning, and was a beacon of inspiration to all who knew her. Dottie's impact as a teacher transcended the classroom, touching countless lives with her compassion and dedication. As a school administrator, she advocated tirelessly for the marginalized, championing inclusivity and equity.

Dottie relocated to southern Maine in 1981. She subsequently joined the faculty at University of New England, where she served for many years as internship coordinator and certification officer in the Department of Education. After retiring from UNE, Dottie taught part-time at York County Community College in Wells. She was a beloved and respected professor, mentor, and colleague. Dottie was proud to have helped to prepare thousands of aspiring teachers and school leaders in New York and Maine, grateful to have learned from each of them.

Dottie is predeceased by her husband of 27 years, John F. Bacheller; her son, Steven Perry; and Donna C. Robinson, her reader, driver, mentor, and "mother/sister," with whom she resided for over 45 years. She is survived by her son, David Perry and family of Kalkar, Germany; son Richard and Sheila Perry and family; daughter Sandra Perry; daughter Annelissa (Perry) Siriani, husband John, and their children Justin Perry and his wife Saori, Kristen Siriani, Lauren Siriani, and Mark Siriani; Eric Robinson, his wife Tanya and their children; her many grandchildren including Gabriel, Marina, Sophia, and Julia; and April, her loving and devoted dog, who brought Dottie immense joy and comfort.

Dottie's resilience, perseverance, and unwavering spirit serve as a testament to the power of the human spirit. She adored the beauty, peace, and soul of Maine, and was especially connected to the ocean. Dottie was deeply grateful for the support of a devoted circle of friends, with whose regular assistance she was able to remain living at her home in Wells. She died peacefully at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House in Scarborough, surrounded by family and friends.

A Celebration of Dottie’s life will be held at 10:30 am on Friday, April 12 at Bibber Memorial Chapel in Kennebunk. Burial will be private at Ocean View Cemetery in Wells.