Dorothea (Dort) Louise Baltes of Destin, Florida passed away on October 22, 2023 at the age of 71. She was born on December 3rd, 1951 in Caney, Kansas to Theodore and Frances (Grubb) Constantikes. She was preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth, her parents, her sister Theodora Appling and brother Kim T. Constantikes. She is survived by her step-daughters Mrs. Kelly Davis and Julie Truckenbrod of Muskogee, Oklahoma and Mrs. Kristi (Rex) Whiteside of Houston, Texas; her grandchildren Kyle (Darya) Kent, Connor (Madeline) Kent, Hannah Truckenbrod, Madison Whiteside and Grant Whiteside, her great-grandson Christian Kent, her sister Penelope Louise Constantikes, her niece Camille Gulley and nephews Theodore and Nathaniel Appling.
Dort was passionate about education her entire life. She received her B.A in education from Ohio State University after which she taught high school English in Fredericktown, Ohio. Dort advanced her education and received a doctorate degree with honors in education from Ohio State University before she moved to Muskogee, Oklahoma where she served in many capacities in the school system, including director of curriculum, elementary school principal and interim superintendent. After moving to Florida, Dort continued to champion education in her community. As the Okaloosa Public School Foundation’s Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program Director and Grants Manager, Dort was a visionary and champion for hundreds of student scholarship recipients and their community mentors in the program. She was an inspiration to all who knew and worked with her and from which many lasting friendships and her “Baltes Brigade” were cultivated.
Beyond her work in education, Dort also served as coordinator of Legislative Affairs for the Florida Speaker of the House. She was also passionately involved with her community, contributing countless hours of research and grant writing to many worthwhile projects. Specifically, she helped secure funding for the Fort Walton Beach Area Chamber of Commerce projects such as the Patriots’ Trail and the Susan Myers Historical Walking Trail as well as for the ALANO Club of Fort Walton Beach for their expansion of handicapped accessibility space. Dort and her husband, Ken also supported and volunteered with the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation in Destin.
In her spare time, Dort loved spending time playing golf with her husband, going to the beach, traveling to exotic destinations and spending time with family. She lived a full and beautiful life and will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
In Lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Take Stock in Children Program of the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation, 120 Lowery Place SE, Fort Walton Beach FL 32548.
Those who knew Dort are invited to join her family at a Gravesite service to be held at the Destin Memorial Cemetery on Friday, October 27, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. You may go online to offer condolences to the family and sign the guestbook at www.heritagegardensfuneralhome.com. Heritage Gardens Funeral Home of Niceville is entrusted with the arrangements.