Last Active Original Mud Creek Player, Dottie Pierdos, Passes at the Age of 85
Dottie Pierdos, the last surviving active Mud Creek Players founding member, passed away last week in Clarksville, Tennessee at the age of 85. Dottie was the historian for the Mud Creek Players and told stories about the beginning years, the original barn fire, and tales of the many actors and actresses that graced Indianapolis’ oldest running community theater. She will be greatly missed by the entire Mud Creek family and greater Geist community. (Story from atGeist.com on April, 2007)
She is survived by three children (John Pierdos of Indianapolis, Patty Greene and Kathy Vermilio from Clarksville, Tennessee), five grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and two cats. Her extended family included anyone that came into contact with her at the Mud Creek barn at 86th and Mud Creek Road.
Dottie was born and raised in Indianapolis, attended Earlham College, and was married to Emil Pierdos and then moved to Kokomo, Indiana. In 1971, her and Emil moved down the street from the Mud Creek barn to be closer to her first love: the Mud Creek Players. From the first play performed in 1950, Dottie was the common thread between every performance at the Mud Creek barn. She was an actress, seamstress, set designer, ticket taker, greeter, and custodian. In later years, Dottie was best known for her homemade cookies and apple pies which were often served in the “Pierdos Kitchen” named after her late husband who passed in 1999.
“Mom lived and breathed the Mud Creek Players,” said her youngest daughter Kathy in a phone interview today.
Dottie was visiting Kathy and her other daughter Patty in Clarksville, Tennessee last fall when she was injured in a fall. She decided to stay in Clarksville with her daughter Kathy until she recovered. After a series of surgeries for assorted complications, Dottie passed away around 10:00 pm on July 2nd in the Clarksville hospital.
“I was just so blessed to spend the last 8 months of her life with her,” added Kathy. “She needed to be with me and I needed to be with my mom.”
Both Kathy and her brother John had signs from their late mother that comforted them both after her passing. John called Kathy the following day detailing how wind chimes at his house were playing unusually loud that day with virtually no wind outside. The following day, Kathy came home to her kitchen and noticed something peculiar.
“My flour sifter was sitting on the floor in front of an open corner cabinet door. Mom loved to make apple pies and she always made homemade crust with that flour sifter. It was her way of telling me she was okay.”
Her viewing will be this Wednesday from 4-8 p.m. at Shirley Brothers Mortuary at 9900 Allisonville Road in Fishers. Following the funeral on Thursday at 2 p.m., the Mud Creek Players are hosting a pitch-in that will be open to the public at 7:00 pm at the barn. Of course, apple pies and homemade cookies will be served.
Anyone that ever met Dottie was instantly in love with Dottie. A few years ago, Steve King and I had an opportunity to interview Dottie about the history of the Mud Creek barn for Geist Radio. Watching this video will probably be hard for those that knew her well, but it’s a great tribute to a wonderfully giving woman.
“I’m just happy that my dad and mom are finally reunited after 10 years. He has his princess back.”