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Obituary: Rebecca Dorsey

Long Island chanteuse Rebecca Devereux Dorsey died Friday September 14 at her Sea Cliff home, after bravely and transparently battling ovarian cancer. She is survived by her husband Paul Shavelson, daughter Aria, and son Mercer. She also leaves behind her parents Glorian Devereux Dorsey of Baltimore, MD and Shelter Island NY, and Dr. James Henderson Dorsey of Baltimore, MD and St. Augustine, FL, her brother James H. Dorsey of Jupiter, Fl, and a sister Deborah Blue of Seattle, WA.

Rebecca can trace her family’s Long Island ancestry and historic East End homestead to before the Revolutionary War. 

Born in Baltimore, Rebecca graduated from Sarah Lawrence College. After further study at the Sorbonne in Paris, Rebecca moved to New York to pursue the stage. She modeled, appeared in movies, soap operas, and cabaret. Her gift for singing ballads and standards in multiple languages was her performance signature. Ms. Dorsey was the featured vocalist at a wide array of Long Island music festivals, political galas, and private parties. North Shore fans enjoyed her long-standing Friday night engagement at the Glen Cove Mansion, where she sang as recently as this past June.

To be with her family during the summers at their historic Shelter Island homestead, Rebecca regularly headlined at East End soirées.  Listening to her annual July Fourth and Labor Day performances at Ram’s Head Inn became a summer tradition for islanders.

Rebecca released her CD - Waiting For You, this past Easter. A musical tribute celebration on the Sea Cliff Village Beach is currently being organized. Her family is requesting donations be made to Hospice Care Network, 99 Sunnyside Blvd Woodbury, NY 11797 in memory of Rebecca Dorsey.