Dodson died of respiratory failure at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Irvine Thursday, said her daughter, Marcida Dodson.
One of thousands of women who served in the Marines during World War II, Dodson was national secretary of the Women Marines Assn. from 1972 to 1974 and Orange County chapter president from 1974 to 1976.
"I joined the Marines because they are the toughest and the best," Dodson told The Times at the 1998 dedication of an exhibit of the "History of Women in the U.S. Marine Corps" at the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, where she served during the war.
Born Ada DiStasio in Montefalcone di Val Fortore, Italy, on May 1, 1914, Dodson was living in Milwaukee and working in a defense plant that built blades for turbines used in submarines when the Marine Corps Women's Reserve was established in February 1943.
Dodson enlisted in April 1944 and trained as an aviation machinist with men and other women at a base in Norman, Okla.
"The men didn't like us girls being there," she recalled in the 1998 interview. "They didn't treat us very well, but that made me work all the harder. . . . I ended up getting the third-highest score in the class, better than most of the men."
Despite her training as a machinist, Dodson was assigned to work in an office at the El Toro air station, where she spent the duration of the war....
We lost our last woman veteran of WWI last year, and are losing our WWII veterans fast. I was dithering about the military women's luncheon in San Diego, but now I'm leaning toward going.
Rest in Peace, Ada. My condolences to your family.