Michael Dotson passed away unexpectedly at age 59 on March 20 2019, in Oak Harbor, Wash., of natural causes. Michael was born on Nov. 8, 1959 in Norfolk, Va., and was the adopted son of Mr. Edward Dotson and his late sister, Sharon LeVaugh. Michael left behind his partner of 17 years, Kathleen Quinn. Kathleen has five children: Amber, Shelby, Matthew, Kelsey and Taylor. Michael loved all of them dearly and participated in their lives with grandchildren, Patrick, Lucas, Jessica, Lauren, Megan and Bradley.
Michael also leaves behind his adoptive dad, Edward Dotson. They shared a common patriotism and love, serving simultaneously in the United State Navy.
Michael attended the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating in 1981 with a degree in oceanography and meteorology. Upon graduation, he served aboard a variety of ships and shore activities where he served as a strike operations officer, meteorology and oceanography services officer and officer in charge of several meteorology and oceanography commands. He attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., graduating with a Master of Science Degree in physical oceanography and meteorology. Michael was a wonderful man and great friend to many, whose lives he brightened with his sharp, yet compassionate sense of humor. Michael served his nation and his Navy proudly for 22 years and retired in April 2002 as a Navy commander. Michael brought zealous patriotism, tempered with a wonderful sense of humor to all of his Navy jobs. One of Michael’s favorite tours of duty was serving as the operations officer at the Naval European Meteorology and Oceanography Command located in Rota, Spain. Michael was in charge of the meteorological and oceanographic operations across all of the Mediterranean during an operationally intense time in Bosnia. With great serendipity, his father Edward served as the commanding officer of the Atlantic Fleet Audio Visual Command with a detachment in Rota, Spain and would stop in to visit Michael during his simultaneous tour at the Naval European Meteorology and Oceanography Center, Rota, Spain.
During Michael’s superb career, he was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, (3) Meritorious Service Medals, (3) Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals and many campaign and sea ribbons.
Upon retirement from the Navy, Michael stayed in Oak Harbor, Washington where he met his love Kathe Quinn. They spent many hours traveling, hosting suppers and of course, many, many hours fishing the Puget Sound for salmon and Dungeness Crab.
A celebration of Michael’s life will be held on May 11, 2019 in Oak Harbor at the American Legion at 2:30 p.m. and will be followed by a Burial at Sea, with military honors. This will be held at 9:30 a.m. May 12, 2019, meeting at the Cornet Bay dock, Oak Harbor, Wash. Both Michael and his beloved sister Sharon will be given to the sea.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Special Olympics, 2815 2nd Ave., Seattle WA 98121
By John Masefield
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the seagulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.