Ardith Dagmar (Quinn) Spiegl, “Dolly,” of Woodstock, New York, incredibly generous friend, relative and citizen, passed away peacefully at her home on Wednesday evening May 17, 2023, after enduring a short second battle with cancer. Sadly carrying on without her, yet glad she is at peace, are her brother Evan, sister Frances, many cousins, nephews and nieces, and a wide circle of close friends from the “Bearsville Flats” neighborhood and across Woodstock.
Born on September 18, 1945, in New York City, Dolly grew up in Port Chester, White Plains and Rye, NY. She graduated Rye High School where she was a flautist and volunteered for several organizations including being a “Candy Striper” hospital volunteer. Dolly then attended Russell Sage College in Troy where she studied biology, with a focus on botany. After college she moved to California, then to Alaska, back to California, then back to Alaska, then back to California where she lived for the next twenty years in Santa Cruz, Pacific Grove and Salinas. She worked for the phone company there and met Hank Spiegl of Salinas. The two married and eventually moved to Woodstock in 1993.
While Dolly was motivated to move back to New York to be closer to her extended family, the move also opened a new dimension in her life: She settled in the Bearsville Flats area where her natural generosity, warmth and curiosity made her a go to person for the entire neighborhood. She became the thread that wove that community together due to her joyful, loving and inclusive personality. Over the years she cared for virtually all the children and pets in the neighborhood and created a bond often deeper than family. If you were a neighbor and heard sirens or if the power went off, Dolly had the answer as to why and when. Dolly ended up with the keys to many in home in the Flats because she took care of those homes, plants and pets while their owners were away. She was arguably the most trusted person in the neighborhood, and willingly took care of everyone and everything in the Flats that needed some care.
Dolly applied her green thumb to her own and others’ homes and was an expert weaver. Beyond the Flats, she was a devoted Woodstock citizen who volunteered for several Woodstock support and service organizations. For example, she was a dedicated election poll worker, an activist, and despite her husband Hank passing away and living on a fixed income Dolly continued to donate to the local Woodstock food pantry. She also provided support for her sisters Heather, who recently passed away, and Frances, both of whom lived in the area.
When Dolly learned that her cancer was inoperable, she expressed her desire to live her final days at her home close to her neighborhood friends, and a large contingent from the Bearsville Flats area set up a schedule to care for and watch over Dolly. Led by nurses Susan Bissonnette and Joey Reith, and Death Doula Cass Speck, the neighborhood returned the love and care to Dolly during her transition, just as Dolly had given to them love and care over the decades.
Dolly chose a natural burial in the woods at Rosendale Plains Cemetery, which took place on Sunday May 21, 2023, among a large group of her neighbors, friends from across Woodstock and her extended family. The burial service was conducted by The Rev. Matthew Wright of St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church of Woodstock. At the service, each member of the neighborhood who watched over Dolly received a blue iris, which they gave to Dolly in her grave. Those giving neighbors include aforementioned Susan, Joey and Cass, and Damien Delisio and his daughters Niaya, Kylla and Tessa, Robyn Pollins, Charlie and Peg Johnson, Ronda Beemer, Marianne and Alan Weber, Jodie Sleed, Kirk and Caroline Ritchie, Joel Zenie and his partner Trish, Ellen Casciaro, Shayan, Elaine Helfenstein and Nina Sheldon. May Dolly feel the love and peace in her pure spiritual form that she so willingly bestowed to others while she was earthbound.
It is suggested that those who wish to further honor Dolly donate to their local food pantry.