Dorthella Nevada Annett was born on January 11, 1919, in Mina, Nevada, to hard-rock miner and sometimes-entrepreneur Alfred and schoolmarm Margaret (Daisy) Annett.
Dorthella, or “Dode,” as she was fondly called, lived entirely in the State of Nevada, including Mina, Reno, Smith Valley, Silver Peak, Golconda, Babbitt, Yerington, Carson City, and Gardnerville.
As a young woman, she married a Silver Peak miner, Charles Elwood Hill. Dorthella and Elwood raised two children, Katherine Ann and Elwood Fayette. When Silver Peak’s Mammoth Mill burned (circa 1942), the Hill family moved to Babbitt, via Golconda and Reno, before settling in Yerington. Prior to Elwood’s passing in 1969, the Hills pursued a variety of business ventures, including Hill’s Resort at Upper Twin Lakes near Bridgeport, California; Hill’s Chevron Service in Yerington; and finally, the Mason Valley Country Club in Yerington.
Dorthella moved to Carson City in 1969 to be near her daughter, Katherine Laxalt. Dorthella served as receptionist for the Laxalt, Berry & Allison law firm in Carson. She had the good fortune to marry Paul Silva, and then moved to Yerington; eventually retired; and turned her attention to golf. As a golfer, she proclaimed that her point, other than it being a social activity, was “to be able to golf with the men without embarrassing myself.”
Dorthella enjoyed a full life, considering her 103 years—and surviving two pandemics. She always carried a bit of luck with her. Her life could have ended abruptly in the early 1940s when she was enroute to Tonopah with her children Kathi and Woody. The pilot of a U.S. Army trainer was practicing landings on the highway U.S. 95 near Millers on and took the top off her 1941 Ford coupe. The aircraft flipped, but the pilot, Dode, and children escaped being seriously injured—and lived to tell the story.
Dode’s life was generally upbeat and positive. She often traveled with her brother Norman and sister-in-law Alpha Annett and enjoyed golfing with hubby Paul. Of utmost importance, though, to Dode was watching her favorite teams, the San Francisco Giants, and the 49ers. A forever loyalist to “her teams,” Dode was convinced that both teams would be unbeaten!
Dorthella was preceded in death by her parents Daisy and Al; brothers Serle, Norman, Clem, and Sheldon; husbands Elwood and Paul; daughter Katherine; and grandsons Stephen and Paul. She is survived by son Elwood; grandchildren Richard Laxalt (Pili), Meggan Laxalt Mackey (Dennis), Margo Hill Parkin, Michael Hill, and Maureen Hill. Her direct Annett bloodline is assured by her seven great grandchildren (so far).
A celebration of Dorthella’s life is pending.