Cover photo for Dorothea Severino's Obituary
Dorothea Severino Profile Photo
1940 Dorothea 2021

Dorothea Severino

July 18, 1940 — June 2, 2021

Born on July 18, 1940 Departed on June 2, 2021 and resided in Brentwood, TN Visitation: Brentwood Baptist ChurchFriday June 25, 2021 9:00am to 10:00amMemorial Service: Brentwood Baptist ChurchFriday June 25, 2021 10:00am

Dorothea Bresslau Severino passed away on Wednesday, June 2 nd and is survived by her four adoring children and ten grandchildren. She was an amazing woman and an inspiration to so many who knew her; her joyful spirit and compassion for those around her will be missed by all. Dorothea suffered an acute stroke on May 27 th and never regained consciousness; she spent her final days surrounded by the love of her closest family and friends at The Alive Hospice Residence.
Mrs. Severino is preceded in death by her husband, Alexandrino Eusebio Severino.
Survived by children, Alexander Severino (Sheri), Cornelia Severino Brown (Ricky), Roger Severino, (Mary Anne)
Katherine Severino; Grandchildren, Julia Severino Thompson, Alexander Metzelfeld, Aidan Metzelfeld,
Stephen Severino, Kelly Severino Horn, Jacob Severino, Isabel Severino, Caroline Severino, Daniele Robbins, Tiffany Corter; Brother, Ernesto Bresslau (Ana Maria); Sister, Cornelia de Almedia (Jose Carlos);
and Brother, Jorge Bresslau (Clarice).

Dorothea Severino was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil, by German parents who had fled Nazi Germany and immigrated to Brazil in the 1930's. Although she was born with a visual impairment (retinitis pigmentosa), she faced this condition with tremendous grace and fortitude. Dorothea was an overcomer and lived a full and vibrant life, never allowing her disability to minimize her pursuits. By profession Dorothea was an educator, and she was fluent in Portuguese, English and German, and conversant in Spanish and French.
Dorothea came to the US as an AFS student in 1957 and spent her senior year of high school at The Hockaday School in Dallas, before returning to Brazil to study at the University of Sao Paulo. While there, she met a Portuguese-American named Alex Severino, whom she married in 1961. Dorothea and the Severino family moved permanently to the US in 1966, and since 1969 resided in Nashville, where Alex was a professor of Portuguese and Comparative Literature at Vanderbilt University. Dorothea was a full time homemaker and raised four children. In her free time, Dorothea enjoyed listening to audio books, exercising and taking long walks, and traveling to various countries to visit family and friends.
After Alex passed away in 1993, she volunteered for many years at the Crisis Intervention Center. Dorothea was an incredibly generous person, supporting many different charities in the Nashville area, including Second Harvest Food Bank, World Food Bank, and Safe Haven. Most recently, she made a contribution to purchase four homes for Nashville families through Habitat for Humanity, and was quoted in a recent article about her contribution: " Since I have enough money to live on, it gives me great pleasure to make donations to some of the many worthy non profits. It seems to be my mission to see that my portion of the inheritance is spent in ways that may help people in need of housing , food, health care, etc."
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Habitat for Humanity of Nashville. Online donations may be made to: or mailed to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville, 414 Harding Place, Suite 100 Nashville, TN 37211 and to Alive Hospice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dorothea Severino, please visit our flower store.


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