Dolores Burt, a beloved mother, aunt and grandmother who loved to sing, died on April 14, 2015, in her Long Beach home.
A memorial celebration for Dolores will be held on Saturday, April 25, at 2 p.m. at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 5872 E. Naples Plaza, Long Beach 90803.
Dolores was born in Chicago on June 23, 1927, to Eleanor and William Geisser. She graduated from Steinmetz High in Chicago in June of 1945. At age 18 she took a train to California to rejoin her parents in Belmont Shore. Her parents and sister, Bette Healy, had left for California before Dolores graduated to enjoy the warm weather in California. Dolores stayed with an aunt until she was re-united with her parents and her sister.
She pursued her promising musical ambitions full throttle, and was working as a librarian in Belmont Shore when Bob Burt of Long Beach swept her off her feet. They were married in 1953. Dolores attended Long Beach City College and received her Associate of Arts degree at LBCC, where she studied music and opera. She also studied opera at USC and Cal State Long Beach.
Dolores and her husband, Bob, were proud parents to four children: Tim, Julie, Steve and Randy. While she was raising the children in Long Beach, Dolores, a soprano, continued to pursue her love of opera and singing. She became a member of the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church on April 3, 1955, where she joined the choir and eventually became the lead soloist. Family members and friends always looked forward to hearing her sing on Christmas Eve, and other occasions.
Dolores and Bob were married for 35 years until his death on July 19, 1988. Dolores then married Peter Lovoy on Feb. 14, 1997. The couple was married for 17 years until his death earlier this year. The couple enjoyed gardening, dining, entertaining friends and spending time with family, including Peter's sons Mike, Jeff and Dennis.
Dolores loved her parents, Eleanor and William, and often talked how important they were in her life.
Music performance was very important to Dolores. Her professional debut was in the West Coast premiere of Gian Carlo Menotti's "The Consul." Her hard work allowed her to pursue many impressive roles at companies including the Long Beach Playhouse, "A Little Night Music" and as Aunt Alicia in "Gigi," Pasadena Playhouse and Long Beach Civic Light Opera, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, with Robert Merrill in "Fiddler on the Roof," Long Beach Civic Light Opera's "The Great Waltz" with Florence Henderson, the New York City Opera with Carol Channing in "Wonderful Town" and with Carroll O'Connor in "Candide." Other productions included "Great Waltz," "The King and I," "Madame Butterfly" and "Tosca" (in which she sang with Franco Corelli), "Vagabond King," "Oklahoma," "Carousel," "The Incommunicado Mikado" and "La Perichole."
Opera performances included "Tales of Hoffman," "Magic Flute," "Hansel and Gretel," "Amahl and the Night Visitors" and "La Rondine." She also sang the National Anthem at a Long Beach State basketball game and at a 49er baseball game. And she spent many years singing at funerals for Forest Lawn in Cypress.
Dolores also took up interior designing and was a fashion model in Long Beach.
Dolores is survived by her four children: Tim, Julie, Steve (and Shari) and Randy and his wife Deslie. Besides her four children and four grandchildren, Dolores is also survived by her niece, Susan Healy (and Gayle); nephew William Healy, his wife Linda and their children Patrick and Michael.
Dolores was preceded in death by her mother Eleanor Allerton and her father William Geisser, sister, Bette Healy and Bette's husband, John Healy; and Dolores' husbands, Bob Burt and Peter Lovoy.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that her friends honor her memory by going to see an opera, a musical or the symphony and to continue to love life as she did. The family asks that donations be made to the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Dolores Burt's name.
Published in Gazette Newspapers from Apr. 23 to Apr. 30, 2015.