Local Republican Icon Dorothy Webb passes at Age 93

(Jan. 25, 1917- Feb. 23, 2010)

By, Crystal A. Proxmire

Photo Courtesy Sean House


Funeral services were held on Feb. 27, 2010 for local Republican leader Dorothy Webb, who died Feb. 23, 2010 at her Livonia home.  Webb was born on Jan. 25, 1917 and moved to Ferndale in 1949 when she married Samuel Webb.  She lived in Ferndale much of her life and was active in local, county and state politics.


In 1975 she earned the nickname “One Vote Webb,” after winning a spot of the Ferndale City Commission by just one vote.  She served on the Commission from 1975-1979, and served two terms as Oakland County Commissioner from 1984-1988.


She was president of the VFW Women’s Auxiliary and Chairperson from 1987-1988, and served as a member of the Area Agency for Aging, where she helped implement the Meals on Wheels program in Oakland County.  In 1996 she was appointed by Governor John Engler to the White House Conference on Aging.  She also served as the State Coordinator of the National league of Cities’ Michigan Women in government sub-committee and as an Executive Committee Alternate for the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. 


Other state organizations that were graced with Webb’s membership included The Michigan Society of Planning Officials, the Michigan Parks and Recreation Commission, Michigan Women in Municipal Government and the Michigan Municipal league.  She was a member of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution and enjoyed genealogy and quilting, though her true passion was politics.


Longtime friend of Webb said “Dorothy loved God and she loved America.  She was passionately pro-life, and thoroughly dedicated to electing candidates who shared her conservative vision.  So relentless was her dedication that I often quipped that it was Dorothy who encouraged me to embrace new technology…by which I meant she was so pesky about involving me in various crusades that I wound up buying an answering machine to screen her calls.”  Axtell said that on Valentine’s Day he and other friends paid a visit to Webb at her daughter’s house, where she was “resting in a hospital bed and watching the FOX News Channel.”


Sean House, President of the South Oakland Area Republicans, said that Webb will be “sorely missed.”  Webb will be especially missed by children David (Lorraine), Cheryl Mitchell and Lenore Vestevich (Robert) Good; son-in-law, Jan Smith, seven grandchildren; ten great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren.  Webb was pre-deceased by her husband Samuel, daughter Brenda Smith and grandson Ryan Winn.


Special thanks to Sean House and The Ferndale City Clerk’s Office for information included in this article.