Simanaitis Says

On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff

DOROTHY CLENDENIN, July 28, 1941–September 21, 2021

DOROTHY CLENDENIN, KNOWN HERE at SimanaitisSays as Editress/Wife Dottie, died peacefully on September 21, 2021, with family at her side at Hoag Hospital, Newport Beach, California She had suffered for a long time from COPD.

Dorothy Mae Clendenin née Kemp, 1941–2021.

Dottie’s life was filled with adventure: She was born in El Centro, California, into a “ditchbank girl” tradition. After her father Joseph Kemp passed away, her mother Audrey Mae Kemp neé Klump and teenage Dottie moved to Orange County. 

Disneyland was only three years old in 1958 when Dottie got a job working at Main Street’s Market House. One of the high points was having Walt Disney hold the door for her. She was a student in the earliest days of Orange County State College, now California State University, Fullerton. She fondly remembered a part-time job helping in publicizing the College’s Elephant Races of 1962.

Dottie was hired by Road & Track magazine in 1964, rose to managing editor, and worked there for 27 years. Her editorial adventures ranged from Japan to the Arctic Circle, including driving to Leningrad during the Soviet era. 

Later, for 12 years Dottie was editor of Northern New England Journey, the region’s AAA monthly magazine produced by Southern California AAA. 

Dottie is survived by her husband Dennis Simanaitis, her step-daughters Suzanne and Elizabeth, and many loving members of the extended Kemp family. Dottie was a lover of animals (her St. Bernard Max, a number of cats, including Second Timothy). Good thoughts and any donations in her honor could be directed to a cat-rescue organization of one’s choice. ds

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2021

24 comments on “DOROTHY CLENDENIN, July 28, 1941–September 21, 2021

  1. Larry Crane
    November 23, 2021

    Sorry for your loss Dennis. The two of you enriched many lives as a leadership team in Road & Track — and continued to enrich them long after we lost the magazine. Take care of yourself. We love your creative voice in SimanaitisSays. Reading your words reminds me of our dear Dottie.

  2. Matthias
    November 23, 2021

    “… und das ewige Licht leuchte ihr.” My my sincere condolences.

  3. Duane Polo
    November 23, 2021

    It was an honor to have her as a friend.

  4. Mark W
    November 23, 2021

    Sincerest condolences, as the seasons pass, alas, so do we.

  5. Bert Swift
    November 23, 2021


    You are in my thoughts regularly as I read Simanaitis Says and in wake of Dottie’s passing. My memories of time spent with you and Dottie are warm, humorous and welcoming. You were always good company, and I’ve no doubt you would be if I was in your presence at this moment.

    The decade following our time as colleagues has been kind to me physically and emotionally if not professionally and economically. I am a much happier and healthier person than I was during the deconstruction of Road & Track. My biggest fear is to be remembered only for my excessive drinking at the end, and not for quality of my character. Nonetheless, I hold my R&T friendships in high regard and hope for the day to be in your presence again dear Dennis, to enjoy your camaraderie and spirit of personality.

    It is nearly impossible to think about you, Dennis, without your Dottie by your side. This causes me to have concern for you and your well-being. I see you blogging along at Simanaitis Says, which brings me comfort. Knowing you’re not alone, with Suz nearby encourages me, yet my mind consistently returns to you in hopes that you are well. I look to the future in hopes of sharing your company again.

    With warmest regards, your friend,

    Bert Swift
    Tyler Point, Barrington, RI

  6. Harley Holt
    November 23, 2021

    I’m very sorry for your loss. I used to enjoy reading her in R&T when the book meant something.

  7. Andrew G.
    November 23, 2021

    Thank you for sharing the news of your loss. I’ll never have trouble remembering Dottie because she was photographed with the subject car in a couple of my very favorite R&T stories. My condolences and best wishes to you and your family, Dennis.

  8. Michael Rubin
    November 23, 2021

    So sorry, Dennis. Those were such wonderful years with R&T at it’s peak with you and Dottie especially, Joe Russ, et al.

  9. Peter Ginkel
    November 23, 2021


    Deepest condolences

    Peter Ginkel

  10. Robin & Mandy Reid
    November 23, 2021

    Dennis – my wife and I wish to offer our deepest sympathies to you and your family with the passing of your dear Dottie. Thank you for introducing her to us in your writings.

    Kia kaha e hoa.

    Robin and Mandy Reid

  11. Tom Strongman
    November 23, 2021

    Dennis, I am saddened to hear of the loss of your wife. Sincere condolences.
    Tom Strongman

  12. Jack Mason
    November 23, 2021

    So sorry for your loss Dennis – my deepest condolences.

  13. Damian
    November 23, 2021

    My deepest condolences, sir.

  14. Landspeed Louise
    November 23, 2021

    Not sure if penning those fateful words were heart grinding, or spirtual solace, but from this reader’s perspective, all were overflowing with the same eloquence and dignity. A cyber hug to you all and with hope for a measure of comfort.

  15. sabresoftware
    November 23, 2021


    So sad to hear your news about Dottie. My condolences on your and your family’s loss.

    Andy Johnson, aka Sabresoftware

  16. Mike B
    November 23, 2021

    Sorry to hear of your loss. My deepest condolences.

  17. Joseph Kemp
    November 24, 2021

    Rest in Peace my best friend. Thank you for your unconditional love. With love, Joseph Kemp III

  18. phil ford
    November 24, 2021

    I’ve waited a day and still don’t have the right words. I’m sorry for your loss, and happy that you had those years together. ❤️❤️❤️

  19. Paul Everett
    November 24, 2021

    As simply a reader of Road & Track for all those years, going back to the mid 1960’s, getting the latest issue was like hearing news and ideas from good friends. We felt like we got to know you and Dottie, and now feel also something of the loss. Our sincere sympathy as we also give thanks for her life. Peace.

  20. stylumdesign
    November 24, 2021

    Dear Mr Simanaitis our sincere condolences
    A longtime reader from abroad

  21. Tom Phillips
    November 25, 2021

    I’m sorry for your loss Dennis; best wishes for continued publishing of your blog.

  22. carmacarcounselor
    November 27, 2021

    I was saddened to learn of your loss. Words cannot express what a void like this creates in one’s life.
    Like so many, I followed your and Dottie’s I contributions to R&T back in the day when it felt like a community.
    Since I moved in briefly with my folks a few doors down from you and Dottie on discharge from the service in 1971 I have always felt close, although we have never met during our years of correspondence.
    I trust you have a support system that will help you through this time, and hope to finally meet you in person one day.
    Dick Stewart

  23. J. Perry Arnott
    December 3, 2021

    As just a reader of your columns, and now of your blog, it’s a bit presumptuous to write and say how sorry I am about the death of your wife. I just couldn’t put this post in the file, though, without saying something, partly because her name, as well as yours, is very familiar from my long readership of R&T. I hope the tumult that’s always caused by a loved one’s death has subsided and that your life can have happiness and peace.

    • simanaitissays
      December 3, 2021

      To J. Perry and all, I sincerely appreciate your kind and thoughtful words.

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This entry was posted on November 23, 2021 by in I Usta be an Editor Y'Know.
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