Posts Tagged ‘100th Birthday’

Yesterday there was one more photo I wanted to post re: Dorothy and I couldn’t figure out how to improve the grainy image…well with a little more patience this morning I played around with my simple photo program…success!

Once again….Dorothy and one of her FHA groups.

P.S. Seated from right to left….me, one of my best friends Chris (she was at the birthday celebration yesterday), my cousin Diane (also one of my best friends), and Vickie (Chris’s sister). A couple more names…standing left to right…Dorothy and second student from left is Beverly (cousin-in-law and also life-long friend).

From our yearbook.

From Stratton High yearbook (62-63)

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Invitation to celebrate Dorothy's 100th birthday!

Invitation to celebrate Dorothy’s 100th birthday!

Dorothy Cross Smith Brown is celebrating her 100th birthday today.

I spoke with her a couple of days before Christmas as I chose not to attend because we have family illness here in the Bay Area of California. So many of my school friends and family will be there. Dorothy said, ” I understand. Come in the spring and spend a weekend with me.” I will.

I love and admire Dorothy!

Dorothy Smith - photo from early 60's yearbook.

Dorothy Smith – photo from early 60’s yearbook.

Who is Dorothy? In the spring of my 12th year my family-parents, sister and I- moved to Dad’s hometown – Stratton, CO. It soon became one of my home towns. I have three – Stratton, CO; The Bay Area of Northern California and Geelong, Australia. I met Dorothy at church but it was later in the fall when I actually turned 12 and entered junior high school that I “really” met her. It was the start of 6 years of study in the field of Home Economics with her. Throughout my life I have been grateful that she was a mentor through my school years and then we became life-long friends. There are so many things to share about her…and of course these are my personal perspective. Here’s a few of the things that we have shared over the years.

  • One of my first lessons in my 7th grade home economics class was that “tea is drunk without milk here in Stratton”.  In Australia we only had tea with milk! I don’t know why that made such a lasting impression, but it did.
  • Dorothy encouraged leadership. It was through her mentoring and sometimes gentle prodding that I undertook leadership roles in F.H.A. (Future Homemakers of America) – an organization founded in the late 40’s and introduced to Stratton High School in the early 60’s I believe.
  • Dorothy’s home economics class was just that…..a study of the economics of running home and life. We did learn to sew and cook…we also learned money management, nursing care, family care, creativity……a multitude of things. Her teaching and leadership created a foundation for many of us.
  • A love of family – she and her husband Oscar (Superintendent of Stratton High School) raised 4 children – 3 sons and 1 daughter. My dad came from a very large family of 12, and I found that I had cousins or aunts in almost every grade of the 12 grades of school. I believe Dorothy has probably attended every Fred Pugh family wedding and funerals held in Stratton.
  • Easter always evokes the memory of Dorothy singing in the church choir at Sunrise Services.
  • It was with Dorothy’s mentorship and sponsorship that I was selected as one of the two delegates from Colorado to attend the National Conference on Smoking and Youth. Ugh…I was one of those smoking young people. It took me 14 years to see the error of my ways. In 1983 I graduated from college (15 years later than intended). I dedicated my thesis paper “Smoking in the Workplace” dedicated to Dorothy.
  • Most times that I traveled to Colorado to visit family or attend reunions included a visit with Dorothy. We kept abreast of the friends, family…. stuff.
  • Several years ago, Dorothy and her family were written up in the Rocky Mountain News. She had 57 of her family – children, grandchildren, great grandchildren home for Thanksgiving. Her daughter Jean described her mother as the “original” Martha Stewart!
  • In 2004 Dorothy won a Star Stitcher Award at TNNA – the National Needlework Association. As owner of Skein Lane, I entered Dorothy as a candidate and was delighted that she was one of the chosen. Her daughter Jean traveled from Colorado with her to this event held in San Diego, CA. It was special. You can read more about this at Dorothy Brown Star Stitcher Award.
  • We talk throughout the year….not enough…but we stay connected. We talked after I finished listening to the The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan. Dorothy shared her experience of the dirt storms of the 30’s. Her first child Gordon was born then…she and Oscar did not know if their baby would survive. He did!

There is really so much to share and enjoy about Dorothy. Happy 100th birthday! I know she will have an extraordinary celebration this afternoon. I can’t wait to hear about and to see her in the Spring.

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