Former Rose of Tralee contestant Dorothy (27) dies after long illness
A FORMER Rose of Tralee contestant who represented Washington DC at 2011 festival has passed away following a long illness.
Dorothy Henggler (27) passed away peacefully on Thursday, surrounded by her family.
A statement released by them said: “Today our beloved Dorothy joined her sister Treasa in Heaven.
"She was surrounded by her adoring family at home and passed away peacefully. We are so grateful for the 27 years of joy she brought to us.
"We know that Dorothy impacted every life she touched and will be remembered by many around the world.”
When she took part in the contest two years ago, Dott, as she was known to her friends, worked as a communications coordinator, having graduated from Virginia Tech with degree in communications.
General Manager of the Rose of Tralee International Festival, Oliver Hurley said her death had caused great sadness to the festival organisers.
He said they had received the sad news from the Henggler family this morning.
"Everyone who had the pleasure of meeting and knowing Dott will miss her fun, caring and compassionate personality," Mr Hurley said.
Dott’s mother, Eibhlín, is from Killarney and one of the highlights of Dott’s Rose of Tralee experience was when the Rose tour bus arrived at Muckross House where nearly 100 people turned out to welcome her.
"She was a big Dr Crokes and Kerry football fan while she was a huge supporter of the Baltimore Ravens American Football team.
"We extend our deepest sympathy to Dott’s family and to her fellow Roses and wider Rose of Tralee family, many of whom kept a vigil wherever they were around the world from the moment that she first became ill," he added.