Dorothy S. Rawles

Sunrise: December 26, 1932

Sunset: October 31, 2020

Dorothy S. Rawles of Suffolk peacefully went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, October 31, 2020.

Dorothy was born on December 26, 1932 to the late James and Inez Simmons. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Vernon Rawles, sister Olivia Madison Proctor, and brother James Rudolph Simmons.

Dorothy lived a life of high achievement beginning with her education in the Suffolk Public School System. In 1950, Dorothy graduated from East Suffolk High School as the President and Valedictorian of the class. She later received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from Virginia State University, where she also became a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated.

Dorothy was committed to serving others which became evident through her life’s work. Upon graduating from college, Dorothy began a career in Social Work. A trailblazer, she went on to become the first African American Social Worker in the City of Suffolk, where she eventually retired as a Family Services Supervisor. Dorothy also served on the Suffolk School Board, where she served as Vice-Chairwoman for two years. Once again, she was the first African American and woman to hold this position.

In 1957 Dorothy was united in holy matrimony to the late Vernon Rawles. They were blessed with two sons, Michael and Milton. Dorothy and Vernon were together for fifty wonderful years.

At an early age Dorothy accepted Christ into her life. She was a lifetime member of Antioch United Church of Christ, Suffolk, Virginia.

Left to cherish Dorothy’s precious members are two sons, Michael V. Rawles of Suffolk, VA and Milton R. Rawles of Virginia Beach, VA; one foster daughter, Mildred Johnson of Suffolk, VA; two grandchildren, Michael Smith and Sachie Hall; five great grand-children; special caregiver/daughter, Annette Harris; caregivers Edna Vann, Queen Powell, Tonya Bradley,  Velma King, and several others; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Antioch United Church of Christ, 900 Hull Street, Suffolk, Virginia 23434.

Viewing Friday, November 6, 2020 2:00pm - 6:00pm Metropolitan Funeral Service 5605 Portsmouth Boulevard Portsmouth, VA 23701 Service Saturday, November 7, 2020 10:30am Zion Community Church 300 Broad Street Portsmouth, VA 23707 Interment Albert G. Horton Veteran Cemetery 5310 Milners Road Suffolk, VA 23434 The family is following the CDC and State of Virginia guidelines for funeral attendance

Send Flowers


  1. reply
    Georgia Jones says

    Milt, I am sorry to hear of the loss of your Mom. She was a very sweet and humble person. She loved hwr boys. Milt, I considered you as my son. Milr you are a humble and caring person, just like your Mom. The Jones family will continue to keep the children in our prayers. Never forget we sincerely Love you.

Leave a Reply


Personal Service, Peace of Mind, Pleasant Memories

P 757.628.1000 • F 757.545.9148

© 2020 Metropolitan Funeral Service