Dorotha Jeanne Cannon Sharp Smart was born in Salt Lake City,Utah to Lois Morris Cannon and Ira Bennion Sharp on November 8,1930. Dorotha passed away due to natural causes on Saturday, August 22 surrounded by her family. She had an abiding belief in the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Throughout her life she magnified her God given talents and gifts, using them to bless her family, church, and community.
In 1952, Dorotha married Charles Rich Smart. A spirited horseback ride, a moonlit romance, and the magic waters of Weber Canyon combined to produce an eternal companionship including six children,26 grandchildren, 46 great-grandchildren, and a lifetime of adventure.Together they lived in Philadelphia, New Jersey, Los Angeles,Washington D.C., Russia, and Salt Lake City.
Dorotha and Charles’ relationship was filled with adventure,exploring, raising children, and spending time at the Weber Ranch and retreating to their “nest” in Palm Springs. Dorotha’s grandchildren could always count on a private piano lesson from “Dofi”, and her great-grandchildren enjoyed her personalized gifts and thoughtful surprises in the mail.
An avid musician, Dorotha kept music in the forefront her entire life. She studied piano in New York with Grant Johannesen and Los Angeles with Jacob Gimpel. Dorotha graduated from the University of Utah (where she joined Chi Omega sorority) with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music Performance.
Dorotha served with the Utah Symphony as Guild President, Board Member, Executive Committee Board Member and head of two Conductor Search Committees, receiving the Silverstein Award in recognition of her service. While Guild President, Dorotha instigated the Fifth Grade Docent Program which still serves thousands of children each year. At the recommendation of Maurice Abravanel she served as a member of the American Symphony Orchestra League Volunteer Council where she chaired the Western States area.
Dorotha served as artistic chairman for the Gina Bachauer Piano Competition, developed the Cultural Arts Program in the Washington,D.C. Temple Visitors’ Center, and served on the Temple Square Assembly Hall Committee. At the age of 83, she was chosen tore present Alumni by performing at the University of Utah’s 100-year Celebration of the piano department. In the last decade of her life, Dorotha was passionate in supporting and evangelizing The Gifted Music School, a nonprofit conservatory for high-level music education for children.
Through the years, Dorotha continued to play piano whether performing in church, for friends, or in one of her three music groups. She continued taking lessons into her late 80’s and loved being a student of teacher Eugene Watanabe. All six of her children remember falling asleep listening to her latest repertoire.
Dorotha had strong faith and was a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Throughout her life Dorotha took great joy in serving in various callings from ward and stake Relief Society and Primary President to Music Chairman. She served for eighteen months with her husband Charles in the Moscow, Russia mission as medical and proselytizing missionaries.
Always the hostess, Dorotha was a connoisseur of beauty and culture. Her formality combined with a wicked sense of humor and encyclopedic memory made her the best of company.
At 89, Dorotha practiced piano almost daily and went out of this world dancing—falling and breaking her hip as she did the rumba. Before her passing, Dorotha remarked how blessed she was to have people she loved on both sides of the veil. She was happy to spend time with her offspring, but was so looking forward to reuniting with her parents and sweetheart.
Dorotha is survived by her children, Tom Smart (Heidi), Ed Smart(Lois, divorced), Chris Smart (Ingrid), Angela Dumke (Zeke III), Cynthia Owens (Doug), David Smart (Julie) and their families as well as her brother, Rob Sharp. Preceded in death by her parents, husband (Dr.Charles Smart), brother (Dr. Howard Sharp), and sister (Mary Lois Wheatley).
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Gifted Music School at giftedmusicschool.org/smart.
We would love friends to join us in celebration virtually for Dorotha’s memorial service Wednesday, August 26 at 6:00 p.m. MDT. Visit https://bit.ly/dorotha to watch the service live or at your own convenience and learn more about her life. Due to COVID-19, the interment at the Salt Lake City Cemetery and in-person memorial services will be held for family only