Dorothy “Dody” Thompson Lape passed away on June 2, 2022, at the age of 87 years on her cherished Marco Island, surrounded by her four children who loved her to the fullest. Her beloved Yorkie, Chloe, remained by her side. In sadness, we say good-bye to our dear Dody. In our hearts she will forever remain loved fiercely and missed greatly by so many.

Dody was born in Creston, Iowa, to loving parents T.M. and Edith Thompson. Following her graduation from the University of Iowa, Dody moved to San Francisco, embarking on her exciting adventure as a TWA stewardess. 

During this time, Dody met the love of her life, Dr. I. Samuel Lape, Jr., and was married at Moffett Naval Base on May 23, 1958. The Lapes settled in Lebanon, PA, and raised their four children: Lindsay Stine (David) Islamorada, FL; Kristen Etter (Steven) Harrisburg, PA; Heidi Bowie Lexington, KY; and Tom Lape (Kim) Atlanta, GA. Dody – “Grammy” to many – is survived by 13 grandchildren, seven great grandchildren, nephews George and Richard Holstein and their families and her bonus Etter Family.

Dody lived a full life, focusing her love, time, and attention on her family and her roles as wife, daughter, mother, grandmother, aunt, friend, and neighbor. Dody shared  time between  her longtime home in Lebanon and her home on Marco Island, where she and her husband welcomed many friends and family. Dody devoted much time and thoughtful energy to visits from loved ones. Visits included golf, boating, shopping, great meals, favorite desserts, episodes of NCIS – and always the most comfortable beds and pillows on the planet! You could always count on Grammy for a Starbucks run and her ritual extra hot vanilla latte. Ever the sweet tooth, Grammy could be talked into a stop for a cherry malt any time of the day. One could easily expect to run into Dody and Chloe at the farmer’s market in both Marco Island and Lebanon, greeting many familiar faces. 

Dody was known for her phenomenal green thumb, and her home was always filled with orchids of several kinds – many flowering from where she affixed them to palm trees in her yard – and the gorgeous floral arrangements she created. Dody was known for her incredible sense of style (nearly always including cashmere and a handsome purse) and always looked beautiful, whether lounging at home or out on the town. Her favorite color, orange, was second only to animal print. 

Over her lifetime, she was an avid golfer, fabulous cook, tennis player, shopping expert, bird watcher, dog lover, devoted Penn State sports fan and always game to join her husband in his many pursuits of surf fishing, snowmobiles, house boats, skeet shooting, white water rafting, trolling for stripers, and managing two litters of Labrador retriever puppies. Raising four active kids, she was a true “super mom” before the term existed. After two decades of Penn State football games and hosting tailgates, Dody watched from her living room (always dressed for the game – the only time she wore navy) and cheering so loudly she could be heard down the street. She also followed Penn State, Duke, and University of Kentucky basketball; University of Iowa football; and her favorite players on the PGA Tour.

The end of a phenomenal era has come for our family as we mourn our matriarch. We were blessed to have Dody Lape in our court, always advocating on our behalf, instilling the importance of family over everything, and loving us unconditionally, every step of the way. 

Dody will be buried next to her husband and with her parents and many other Lape family members in Newmanstown, PA, and honored at a Celebration of Life with family and friends on Friday, September 30, 2022 at The Hotel Hershey. 

Memorial gifts may be sent to benefit the “I. Samuel and Dorothy T. Lape Lecture in Surgery” at:

Penn State Hershey
Development and Alumni Relations
Attn: Lape Lecture 
MC HS20 
P.O. Box 852 
Hershey, PA 17033-0852
(717-531-8497 for questions)