PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Dorothy Shirley Krauss Licht, former first lady of Rhode Island, passed away on April 30, 2023, from complications of COVID. She died in her home surrounded by her loving family. Born on Sept. 27, 1921, and the daughter of Ralph and Bessie (Heller) Krauss, she was a lifelong resident of Providence. Her husband of 47 years, Gov. Frank Licht and her oldest daughter, Beth Ellen (Licht) Laramee predeceased her.
Survivors include: two daughters, Carol Kanin and her husband, Dennis, of Newton, Massachusetts; and Judy Licht and her husband, Rick Tempchin, of Washington, D.C.; eight grandchildren, Jeffrey Laramee, Lesley McClellan and her husband, Michael, Zachary Kanin and his wife, Christina Angelides, Jonah Kanin and his wife, Michelle Shwarzstein, Franklin Kanin and his partner, Lauren Biwer, Marlene Tempchin, Jacob Tempchin and his wife, Hayley Brooks, and Adam Tempchin and five great-grandchildren, Elodie, Max, Sammy, Zoe and Ari.
Mrs. Licht graduated from Wellesley College in 1943. She got a taste for politics when she actively supported her husband’s early campaigns for the state senate and his two successful runs for governor. She later was elected a delegate to Democratic National Convention. She was a passionate champion and board member of the Rhode Island Food Bank and a patron of the arts as a member of the New England Foundation for the Arts and Rhode Island Arts Council and decades-long supporter of both the Rhode Island Philharmonic and the RISD Museum.
After her husband’s death in 1987, she established the Licht Lecture Series at Brown University that featured such speakers as Barack Obama, John Kerry, Susan Rice, Elizabeth Warren, Adam Schiff and Deval Patrick. Right up to the end of her life, she remained an involved and generous member of the Rhode Island community. Friends and family remember her as warm, generous, funny and no-nonsense. She was a wonderful pie and blintz maker and an avid seeker of news from any source – TV, radio or online.
Funeral services will be held Sunday, May 7, 2023, at 1 p.m. at Temple Emanu-El, 99 Taft Ave., Providence, with burial to follow in the Lincoln Park Cemetery, Warwick.
Contributions may be made to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, 200 Niantic Ave., Providence, RI 02907 or online at www.rifoodbank.org.