Long-time CWW Supporter Dies

With the death this week of Dorothy Tofte, the Council for Wisconsin Writers lost a long-time advocate and supporter. Dorothy, 98, was the wife of prolific science fiction and fantasy writer Arthur R. Tofte. Although Dorothy’s impressive career in nursing spanned many decades, according to the Becker Ritter Funeral Home, which posted this notice, both she and Arthur, who died in 1980, were devoted members of CWW. The CWW Tofte/Wright Children’s Literature Award was named in honor of the Toftes and Dorothy’s friend, children’s author Betty Ren Wright.

Following are CWW member tributes to Dorothy:

CWW President Geoff Gilpin

  • I was deeply saddened to learn of Dorothy’s passing. She and her husband Arthur were pillars of our organization over the decades. In recent years, we’ve missed her quiet graciousness at our annual awards banquet. Her generosity lives on through the Tofte/Wright Award, presented annually for the best work of children’s literature by a Wisconsin writer. My deepest condolences to her family and friends. Wisconsin has lost a great supporter of the arts.

Geoff Gilpin

President, Council for Wisconsin Writer

Posted on Dorothy’s online memorial page

  • In the early ’90s, when I was first getting started with Redbird Studio, Dorothy Tofte and her friend, Betty Ren Wright (sp?) got excited about the classes for adults and kids and wanted to be part of it. Betty always cheered us on. Dorothy went another step. She climbed the four flights of stairs to the studio, attended workshops, helped encourage the writers, and contributed to the young writers scholarship fund. Whenever she saw me, she asked how things were going at the studio and she didn’t mean to get a general answer, she wanted details. What were people writing? How many more had been published? Was I still working with inner city schools? Did that lady finish writing about her son?
            She and Betty were not only friends, they were champions who worked behind the scenes to help “the young ones” along. I’m grateful to have seemed like one of “the young ones”
            to them.
           As I write this, I realize it’s my turn to “help the young ones.” I hope none of them are up four flights of stairs.
        Judy Bridges
        Author, Shut Up & Write! 

        Founder, Redbird Studio
           Board member, Council for Wisconsin Writers

The Becker Ritter Funeral Home notice includes the following information about services:

Visitation will be held at the Funeral Home on Monday, November 24, at 11:30 a.m., with lunch following. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Council for Wisconsin Writers, Tofte/Wright Children’s Literature Award or a charity of your choice.



Filed under authors, children's books, poets, Uncategorized, writers

4 responses to “Long-time CWW Supporter Dies

  1. Geoff Gilpin

    Thanks, Jerrianne. That’s a very fitting tribute.


  2. I had the pleasure of meeting Dorothy years back at a banquet luncheon, and remember her as very kind, gracious, and encouraging. She was a lovely lady.

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