Friends and family are mourning the creator of an iconic recipe and a Thanksgiving staple.
Dorcas Reilly, the inventor of Campbell’s green bean casserole, died on Oct. 15. She was 92.
“Dorcas was an incredible woman, whose legacy will live on in more than 20 million American households this Thanksgiving,” the Campbell Soup Company wrote on its website.
Reilly, of Haddonfield, New Jersey, gained fame while working for Campbell’s Home Economics department in 1955. She combined green beans and Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup to create what was originally called “Green Bean Bake.” The recipe would later be known as green bean casserole, referred to by Campbell as “the mother of all comfort foods.”
Dorcas left Campbell's in 1961 and returned in 1981 to serve as manager of the Campbell’s Kitchen. She then retired in 1988. Campbell's donated Dorcas’ original recipe for green bean casserole to the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2002.
A spokesperson described Dorcas as a person who was admired for her “humble and unassuming nature.”
“Dorcas would often share that the first time she made her famous recipe, it did not receive the highest rating in Campbell’s internal testing," the spokesperson wrote. "Yet, it was her persistence and creativity that led to an enduring recipe that will live on for decades to come.”
Dorcas is survived by her husband, a daughter, two children, four grandchildren, a great grandchild and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
A celebration of life for Dorcas will be held Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Sanctuary of the Haddonfield First Presbyterian Church on 20 East Kings Highway in Haddonfield, New Jersey, from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. It will be followed by a service at 11 a.m. which will be immediately followed by a reception in Fellowship Hall at the church.
In lieu of flowers, Dorcas’ family requests donations be made to the Haddonfield First Presbyterian Church Music Ministry or to your favorite charity in Dorcas’ name.