Dorothy E. Squire, formerly of Olathe, passed away on November 24, 2015 at Medicalodges of Fort Scott, KS. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, December 1, 2015, 11:00 am at First Baptist Church of Olathe, Olathe, Kansas, where the family will receive friends an hour prior to service time. Burial will follow in the Olathe Memorial Cemetery.
Dorothy Elizabeth Squire was born April 7th 1928, the second of six children, to Charles Coleman Hopkins and Della Halpain Hopkins in Baxter Springs, KS. She spent her childhood in Gravette, Arkansas during the depression. Her family was sharecroppers, trappers and miners. Due to the unstable economy the family moved often. Her father died when she was a child and her mother provided for her family and moved to Miami County, KS when she was a teenager.
She met Herbert E. Squire at the Olathe Naval base while they were working in the galley. He found reasons to come into his shift early and she kept missing her bus home. They attended a TWERP Dance and he said “you’re so cute, for 2 cents I would ask you to marry me”, she smiled, reached into her purse and handed him 2 pennies. They went to Kansas City and were married on May 2nd 1946. They made their home and their life together in Olathe, in a two story farm house on a graveled Grant Street, which was at the time outside of city limits. A two cent proposal became an almost 60-year marriage.
They raised four children at 609 South Grant Street, Kenny, Janice, Karen and Jean. Dorothy was a homemaker, avid gardener and worked tirelessly for the handicapped. She loved flowers and was famous for her love of Zinnia’s.
Her youngest child Jean was diagnosed with Down Syndrome at a time when disabled children were institutionalized. Dorothy was told that her daughter Jean was “trainable but not educable” and that there was no place for her in school. Dorothy made it her mission to change the status quo. She organized parents of disabled children and campaigned for those children to attend school. The school system told them “if you find a classroom, we’ll provide a teacher”. That’s exactly what Dorothy did. The first class was held at the First Baptist Church of Olathe. She didn’t end her crusade there, she dedicated her life to the betterment of disabled children.
Herb and Dorothy founded Olathe Happy Times, a non-profit activity group for retarded adults. Dorothy ran the programs for the group including, dances, bowling, talent shows, baseball games and dinners. As well as countless other activities. She was deeply concerned for their spiritual life and taught a Sunday School class for these children. She drew strength from her family even after Jean’s death in 1991.
Dorothy and Herb were active and dedicated members of the First Baptist Church of Olathe. Where they cooked Wednesday night meals together and spent their lives side by side dedicated to the word of God and spreading their faith.
Dorothy and Herb were inseparable throughout their marriage and took many trips together including trips to Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Washington DC, his family home in Pennsylvania, a cruise and many other trips to Branson and visiting family. Dorothy was active in her grand-children’s activities and attended baseball games, horse shows, county and state fairs and countless school programs.
She moved to Presbyterian Village in Fort Scott, Kansas five years ago after she was unable to live safely in the family home in Olathe. She resided there until she had a massive stroke in 2012 and was moved to Medicalodge of Fort Scott. Dorothy made a near full recovery from her stroke despite a grim prognosis from physicians. Dorothy enjoyed the activities and was loved by her caregivers, family and peers.
Dorothy was proceeded in death by her daughter Jean, her son Kenny, her husband Herb and her son in law John Seested. She is survived by her brother and sister in law Charles and Susana Hopkins of Olathe, Sister Wanda Gillam of Ottawa, IL. Her daughter Janice Seested of Fort Scott. Karen and Darrell Knee of Sioux City, Iowa. Grandchildren Jennifer and Phil Bertels, Kevin and Lyndsey Seested, Phillip, Kenna, Charles, Jacob and Christopher Squire. Great-grandchildren Kolby, Leo, Brooklyn and Sydney.
left a legacy of her faithfulness that was instilled in her family. Her motherhood and fierce dedication to her children and her husband were inspiring to others. She will be greatly missed and will always be remembered for her faith, good works and love of family.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Medicalodges of Fort Scott Activity Center, or to the First Baptist Church of Olathe (General Fund).
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