In Memory– The Last of The Five Little Peppers

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For over a year or maybe even two, a good friend in Arizona has been caring for a woman named Dottie. Dottie has been in a senior’s hospice, and I have been following her health for a long time even though I didn’t know her. I had seen pictures of her and heard so much about her I felt like I knew her personally.

Sadly, Dottie died a few months ago, and I felt the same way as if my neighbour had died. Today, I asked my friend when her ashes were going to be scattered, and wondered if  there would be anyone there– as in reality she had no family left.

To my surprise this is what she told me:

“Dottie’s former neighbor, myself, her hospice nurse & pastor will be there. That will be it because Dottie had no family.  However, a woman discovered her on IMDB and would love to attend if she weren’t so ill.

“Dottie was actually Dorothy Ann Seese, a child star with the potential of Shirley Temple, but her parents yanked her movie career after she starred in the Five Little Peppers series of 4 or 5 movies in the late 30’s and early 40’s.  The woman that found her is a huge Peppers fan and owns all the movies.  Dottie was the last of the Peppers.  I have some pictures of her, thanks to her of Dottie when she was 5 & 6 playing Phronzie.  Too bad royalties weren’t available then. She died penniless”.

I stopped typing and almost fell out of my chair as I had watched those movies as a child and felt so bad. If had not been for the kindness of my very dedicated friend visiting her she would have died alone after giving so much joy to others.

In later years Dorothy Ann Seese obtained a liberal arts degree from UCLA in 1955 and became a business systems analyst for fifteen years. She then switched to the legal field and worked the next 25 years as a legal secretary, legal assistant and paralegal. In 1997 she became disabled from a spinal injury, retired, and lived in Sun City, Arizona.

In memory of Dottie-Dorothy Ann Seese– The last of The Five Little Peppers.

 

COMPLETE FILMOGRAPHY WITH SYNOPSIS

CAST (feature film)

1.
The Long Gray Line (1955) as
An Irish immigrant becomes one of West Point””s most beloved officers.
2.
The Virginian (1946) as Jane Woods
Best friends become enemies when one signs on with a rustler.
3.
Let’s Have Fun (1943) as Toni Gilbert
4.
Blondie’s Blessed Event (1942) as Little girl
5.
Blondie in Society (1941) as Little girl
Dagwood brings home a pedigreed Great Dane which an important company client wants and which Blondie enters in the big dog show. A highlight of this film is the canine burping display.
6.
Out West with the Peppers (1940) as Phronsie Pepper
A working class family moves West in search of better fortune.
7.
Five Little Peppers in Trouble (1940) as Phronsie Pepper
Five siblings face boarding school when their working mother can””t hold a job and care for them.
8.
Five Little Peppers at Home (1940) as Phronsie Pepper
Five siblings enlist a crusty old businessman to help save their mother from bankruptcy.
9.
The Doctor Takes A Wife (1940) as Girl
A man-hating author and a woman-hating doctor have to pretend they’re married.
10.
Meet the Missus (1940) as Millie Lou
11.
Five Little Peppers and How They Grew (1939) as Phronsie Pepper
A case of measles gets a working class family mixed up with a blustering businessman””s clan.
Update: Dottie was laid rest January, 2015. It was a sparse attendance, and the church secretary, plus the pastor of course was in attendance.  It was a cold, overcast day and rather gloomy, but Pastor Blau gave Dottie a very good send-off.  Her ashes were placed and it was all over in 15 minutes. May she rest in peace!

 

 

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About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

7 responses »

  1. Thank you for writing this. We did not know Dottie died and this resolved that for us. We didn’t know anything about the Peppers until Dorothy told us a few years after we met, which was in 2001. We’re also happy you included the Five Little Peppers. Dottie was extremely proud of her film past.

    We are also saddened we could not attend the funeral. I hope Rev. Ronald Blau was able to perform the service but it was probably done by Rev. Anderson. Regardless, thank you for your attendance and also befriending Dorothy during her last time on earth.

    Diana and Morgan Fairlamb

      • My name is Danny & I had the pleasure meeting ms Seese when she lived in Sun city,az i have her autograph. I sat & we talked for over an hour more than once & she told me about her life & how she got into hollywood movies as a child actress & to me She was a great little actress. I’m so glad i had the greatest pleasure of meeting this great lady.I’ll never foreget the time we spent together talking. May u R I P MS. DOROTHY ANN SEESE THE WORLD WILL MISS U.

  2. I have just discovered the Pepper films by chance on you tube which led me to google which led me here. What a wonderful little girl she was, simply adorable to watch with the other children too. May Dottie know how much joy she brought . RIP.

  3. I only recently came across the Pepper films on Youtube and loved little Dorothy. Only came across an article today to say she had sadly passed away. She was in my opinion better than Shirley Temple. Hopefully she is in a better place now.

    Christine (Dublin Ireland)

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