The Leader remembers Dottie Concordia

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NORTH WILDWOOD – Anyone who visited the Wildwood Leader office when it was in North Wildwood got to know Dottie Concordia.

She worked at the front desk starting in the early 1980s, and retired about a year after the newspaper offices moved to Seaville and the old building and printing press were sold.

Concordia was the office manager and ran classified and legal advertising for the paper. With her desk by the front door, she was usually the first person someone would meet when visiting the office.

“For a long time, she was the face of the Wildwood Leader,” said publisher Rick Travers.

This week, the staff at The Leader were saddened to hear that Concordia died on Friday.

Her daughter, Phyllis Concordia, said her passing from natural causes was sudden and unexpected, although she had health issues for many years.

Concordia was not a tall woman, but she was hard to miss. Those who knew her well agree “crotchety” would work as a description, but it didn’t take long to realize her brash and sometimes prickly exterior was only an act, hiding a warm heart. She liked to tease, but seemed to like getting teased back even better.

“She was funny,” said Phyllis. “It sometimes came off as telling you off.”

At one point, the newspaper’s comptroller was exasperated when she convinced all the vendors, whether they were delivering paper for the press or some notepads for reporters, to address everything to her as .e.

Dottie loved cooking, and sharing what she cooked. Her daughter described it as her passion. She also loved birthdays, and she would usually reach out to friends on their birthdays. Her daughter said she kept a calendar, and each year she would transfer all of the birthdays to a new calendar.

“Every year, whether you got a card or not, rest assured she was thinking about you on your birthday,” Phyllis said.

Another passion was the beach.

Her family had come to the Wildwoods on vacation “forever,” Phyllis said, and they bought a summer house in 1973, into which Dottie moved in the early 1980s.

Concordia was born in Bryn Mawr Hospital in 1941 and grew up in West Philadelphia in the St. Gregory’s Parish, where she attended grammar school. In 1959, she graduated from West Philadelphia Catholic School for Girls.

“She always talked about going to American Bandstand,” her daughter said. The popular dance show filmed around the corner from the school, and Concordia would sneak out of school to watch.

Concordia is survived by four children, Michelle, Michael Jr., Phyllis and Danielle, and grandchildren Samantha, Valerie, Jakob and Lucy with a fifth on the way, due in July.

Her daughter said Concordia was always a very active mother, taking the kids sledding and coloring with them on the floor.

“We grew up in Bucks County. That was a major part of our lives before moving to the shore,” said Phyllis. “We all spent summers at the shore, and she loved the beach. She loved the beach.”

Concordia had already been at the paper for years when it was bought by what was then Jersey Shore News Magazines in 1995, said Travers. That company became Catamaran Media, the current publisher of the Leader, Freetime, the Gazettes and the Currents, among other titles.

Travers said Concordia helped make the transition to new ownership go smoothly, and he offered his condolences to her family on behalf of the newspaper’s staff.

The newspaper’s offices and printing press stood on Atlantic Avenue across from the Margaret Mace School for decades. Records at the paper show the building was built in 1923, when it was owned by Henry Ottens.

That building was finally demolished in 2003. 

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