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Dorothy Engleman

Dorothy Engleman


Dorothy was a dear person with a unique sense of humor and wit and an adoration of origami that would rival that of far more expert folders. Although she loved and admired all of the origami masters, her true legacy will be the way in which she championed the "little guys" in the origami world -- those avid folders who have created an original model or two, but seldom enough to fill a book or attract widespread attention. Dorothy delighted in finding such people and showcasing their works on her "Origami Swami" web site. She urged us to come up with witty, catchy names for our models and to create more. She was the personification of sharing and a role model when it came to encouragement and support. In her loss, origami has lost one of its most knowledgeable, dedicated, spirited, and "huggable" enthusiasts. I am very glad that I had a chance to meet her -- briefly at PCOC in San Diego in 2003 -- but regret that I did not stay in closer touch with her thereafter. I just assumed I would see her again someday soon. I am saddened that that will not happen now but will be ever grateful for the support that she gave to me and will treasure my fond memories of her always. Here's hoping, sweet Dorothy, that you have found the ultimate "Peace of Paper" in origami heaven. Your one-of-a-kind perspective on the origami world will be sorely missed.

Karen Houston

Dorothy, or as you would day, Yo, Dorothy !!!

Your brightly folded origami parrot is on the refrigerator - front and center - to be remembered fondly.

Your funny emails and questions about Casa Louise are missed.

See you in the next chapter.

Louise "Berkeley Babe" Yale

I first met Dorothy when she asked me to help her with certain aspects of her "Folding California" video. Once that project was completed, she was in search of new outlets for her origami creativity. It was her initiative that got Pacific Ocean Paperfolders (POP) off the ground, and she continued it over the years, despite the loss of our original venue, and my spotty attendance. She encouraged me to develop my creative side, and was continually supportive of my efforts to get published. At our meetings, she loved to teach simple models to beginners, which fueled my appreciation and exploration of simple yet unusual folds. I will always remember her cheerful disposition, despite her numerous health problems, and will find inspiration in her strength. She was indeed a unique and courageous woman.

Joel Stern

I was greatly saddened to hear that Dorothy had died - and at such a young age. I have conducted a long and detailed correspondence with her since at least 1998, although I can't find the beginning of our correspondence on my computer. She constantly asked me questions about origami history throughout the period she was building up her website, Origami Swami. But I never quite understood what Origami Swami meant, despite Dorothy's attempt to explain it to me! Later she ransacked the Lister List and reprinted many of my articles from there, all with my happy blessing.

I have been amazed and impressed by the amount of information that Dorothy accumulated and by the way she organised it to be easily accessible - or, perhaps I should say, "reasonably accessible" - she had so much information that it was easy to get lost in the maze and, if not lost, then at lest distracted by the many fascinating facets of origami that her site contained. I was particularly indebted to her for many pieces of information that she rescued from obscurity, from the origins of papermaking in China to the latest modern techniques. She must have spent hours, days or weeks searching the Web for nuggets of information.

Interspersed among all the golden information that we exchanged, we found time to chat to each other and enjoyed many conversations on all manner of subjects. Not that we always agreed!.

I don't think that I ever met Dorothy face-to-face. But it is possible that I did. In 1997 I attended the PCOC meeting in San Francisco and she could have been there. Does anyone remember this?

During the past year or so, our correspondence declined somewhat and I believe it must have been because she was already beginning to feel unwell. I hope that she didn't suffer too much. It is only a few months ago that we exchanged our last e-mails. She was then her usual cheery self.

I am most grateful that "Origami Swami" in all its convolutions is to be preserved and kept available for paperfolders to consult. We must all express our most grateful thanks to Gilad Aharoni for so quickly hosting Dorothy's site ( I sometimes feel like printing out the whole of the site as a precaution against an electronic wind or some other calamity that might delete the whole of the Web! But there was so much that I don't think my printer would cope and, anyway, I doubt if I should have any space to keep all the print-outs. And we certainly can't afford a bigger house now!

Dorothy will be remembered with great affection throughout the World of Origami - I'm sure that if we listen hard we shall still hear her infectious chuckle. Thank you, Dorothy for all you have given us and for being you!

David Lister
Grimsby, England

For me, Dorothy was a smiling, shining star in the origami universe. Those of us who knew her and learned from her will miss her willingness to share all that she knew with anyone interested enough to ask. She defined generosity.

Lisa Helfer

Dorothy Engleman was a good friend to me. I will miss our regular transatlantic conversations; she always managed to call when Coronation Street (my favourite soap!) was on TV, I never told her not to as it was a joy to speak to her at any time.

She was a very generous friend, when she knew I need a specific model for my local newspaper column she designed one for me within a couple of days!

I organised an Origami Decorated Christmas Tree for the local Church Christmas Tree festival a couple of years ago, a few days before I was going to set it up I received out of the blue a box crammed full of models to put on the tree. It was from Dorothy, she was like that.

I wish I had met her, but it was not to be. I will miss her, as will all her friends around the world.

Penny Groom

Dorothy and I had a long phone friendship when we would exchange news about the origami world and discuss models we were working on. In person we met only once at the San Diego convention when we could finally associate a face with the messages. Besides the Origami Swami website (thank you, Gilad, for preserving it) her origami video (I forget the title) is a lovely, imaginative work which will also continue to exist. Her enthusiasm which inspired many paperfolders, will be missed by many.

Florence Temko

What can I say about the Swami? Her enthusiasm was infectious. She was always thinking of wacky new themed presentations for her website and new angles on seasonal themes. She was always determined to see her vision take shape. Most of all she was a good friend. Her familiar "Yo!" was always welcome, a passport to good times. We worked on many projects together. I remember once she had me making diagrams from her hand drawn diagrams of a penguin in a skiff. It was called "Penguin on a Holiday." I saw a model by Jeremy Shafer of a sinking ocean liner in BARF and combining the twiofolds, I sent her a model called "Penguin on a Holiday on the Titanic." We used to have fun. I miss her.

Tom May