Cover photo for Dorothy Gifford Bancroft-Gowin's Obituary
Dorothy Gifford Bancroft-Gowin Profile Photo
1929 DG 2023

Dorothy Gifford Bancroft-Gowin

June 14, 1929 — April 1, 2023

Ithaca, NY

Dorothy Gifford Bancroft-Gowin (6/14/29 – 4/1/23) grew up in Manhattan.  She was a tenth generation New Yorker.  She went to her father’s alma mater Stanford University, and received a BA and MA in English Literature.  DG fell in love with Texan D. Bob Gowin, and they married in 1950.  They lived in Palo Alto; Manhattan; New Haven, where Sarah was born; Chicago, where Robin was born; and in 1961 moved to Dryden Road in Ithaca, where John was born.  When he was three, John developed a disabling seizure disorder.  DG’s marriage ended in 1973, and she went to work full-time at the Corner Book Store.  Later she created the children’s books department at Logos Book Store. 

At age 55, DG started nursing school at TC3.  She was a public health nurse until she retired.  A generous bequest from her cousin Peg LeBaron allowed DG to become a world traveler.  She went on many trips with Road Scholar, including a Semester at Sea.  When DG downsized, she moved to the Cayuga Apartments, and then to Bridges Cornell Heights in 2016. 

DG’s interests included her family summer home in Nova Scotia; Greece and Greek mythology; literature; writing; international folk dancing; Scottish and English country dancing; the Episcopal church and her Episcopal Family Ministries women’s group; art classes at Lifelong; Shared Journeys community groups; the GIAC senior program; drawing with oil pastels; teaching ESL at Tompkins Learning Partners; and washing pots at Loaves and Fishes. 

DG was predeceased by her parents Frederic and Dorothy Bancroft, her brother Derry, sister-in-law Ellen, and niece Elizabeth.  She is survived by Sarah Gowin (Paul Stearns) of Ithaca, Robin Gowin (Laura Cisar) of Edison, NJ, John Gowin of Ithaca, and families.  She is also survived by her niece Mary-McLean Bancroft Jones and by a large extended family.  Thanks to Dr. Lucia Jander, and to the phenomenal team at Hospicare.  Thanks to Victoria Hatfield RN, caregiver and friend.  Thanks to Elizabeth Classen Ambrose, Elizabeth Demisse, and all the incredible people at Bridges Cornell Heights, for surrounding DG with comfort, beauty, and love.  Memorial contributions may be made to Hospicare and Loaves and Fishes.  DG will be buried in a private ceremony at Greensprings Natural Cemetery Preserve, in the apple wood casket that she used as a coffee table. 

Family and friends are invited to a memorial gathering at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 6, 2023, at Lansing Funeral Home, 32 Auburn Road, Lansing, NY 14882.  If planning to attend, RSVP by emailing or by calling the funeral home at 607-533-8600 by Wednesday.



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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Gathering

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Starts at 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

RSVP to or 607-533-8600 by Wednesday 04/05/2023.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Graveside Service

Private Service

Greensprings Natural Cemetery Preserve

293 Irish Hill Road, Newfield, NY 14867

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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