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Dorothy Kirby, 98

Funeral Services for Dorothy Kirby, 98, of Bedford, Iowa will be held Sunday, July 16, 2023 at 2 PM at Cummings Family Funeral Home.  Visitation will be held from 1 PM until service time.  Interment will be held at Conway Cemetery.  Memorials may be directed to the Bedford United Methodist Church in her name.  Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at under Obituaries.
Dorothy Cleota (Hughes) Kirby was born on November 18, 1924 to Glen Milo and Pearl (Cavner) Hughes, on a farm southeast of Conway, Iowa. She lived on that farm the longest of anyone. She was the 2nd of 4 children born to the family.
Dorothy attended Clayton No. 1 Elementary School where her father had attended a few years and later her 2 oldest daughters attended, until the rural schools closed.
In October, 1937, (during the 8th grade) Dorothy was stricken with polio, paralyzing her big toe and affecting her right leg. This made getting to school difficult so she rode a pony to her grandfather’s, then walked the rest of the way to meet a school bus. Sometimes when the roads were bad, she rode the pony all the way to school.
After graduating from Conway High School in 1942, she went to summer school (in Maryville) to receive college credits and took the teacher’s exam to receive a teaching certificate, something she always wanted to do. Because of the shortage of teachers, she started teaching before she was 18, near Diagonal, Iowa. The next year she taught at Clayton No. 1. While teaching she met, Virgil Kirby, an older brother of one of her students. On June 3, 1944, they were married in the United Presbyterian Church in Creston, Iowa. To this union 4 children were born, Cleota, twins Jolene and Joseph and Frances “Fran.”
They farmed near Diagonal the first year of marriage, then near Conway the next year. When Virgil was called to the service in 1945, Dorothy and baby daughter Cleota went to Grandpa Hughes’ home to keep house for him and raised chickens on shares. After Virgil returned from the service, they moved about 4 times in 2 years, then finally settled back at the Conway farm where Dorothy had been born. They purchased the farm in 1976.
Dorothy kept busy raising a large garden, canning, freezing, sewing, caring for chickens and helping with the milking. She made dresses for herself and daughters. When the girls were older, she worked part-time for Claude and Esther Dixon in their home in Lenox for 9 years. She would leave as Fran got on the bus to go to school. She also worked at the 4-U Trading Post, a clothing store in Lenox, for 5 years. She was an Avon Representative during this time also. Dorothy worked at the Sheridan Egg Co., Inc. and worked in Hubert and Irene Henry’s home 12 years.
Dorothy belonged to the Conway Methodist Church until it closed, teaching Sunday School a few years and belonging to it’s USCS. She belonged to the neighborhood women’s Busy Bee Club, Auxiliary of American Legion #591 of Conway, Iowa and after retiring she joined Auxiliary of American Legion #164 of Bedford, Iowa. Dorothy later joined the United Methodist Church of Bedford, where she became a member, was a secretary of the circle and also served with the memorial committee two different times.
For several years, she was co-leader of the Gay Maiden 4-H Club, later she worked with the 4-H youth committee and received a 10 year pin and also honorary 4-H pin.
Dorothy was always thinking of others first, keeping each of her family in her caring thoughts. She liked to have a pencil or needle in hand doing something when she was sitting down in the evening. She enjoyed embroidering and quilting making several beautiful quilts, many embroidered, lots of pillow cases, etc., always hoping the next one would be even better. She enjoyed trying something different, sometimes making her own patterns. Dorothy made a quilt for each of the family members, even some great-grandchildren. Dorothy and Virgil enjoyed traveling during the years, always making a beautiful photo album describing each area of travel.
Dorothy’s pride and joy was her family. Each Christmas, everyone looked forward to, and loved, her homemade noodles, cookies and pie.
Left to cherish memories of a wonderful mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend are daughters, Cleota (Art) Tapken of Orient, Iowa; Fran (Bill) Dougherty of Bedford, Iowa; grandchildren, Renee (Chris) Neppl of Adel, Iowa; Neal (Meredith) Tapken of Adel, Iowa; David (Patty) Kendrick of Kansas City, Kansas; Andrea Hirsch of Lubbock, Texas; Tara (Josh) Weed of Bedford, Iowa; Tiffany Dougherty of Bedford, Iowa; Travis Dougherty of Bedford, Iowa; great-grandchildren, Lucas Neppl, Nathan, Sarah, and Connor Tapken, Claire and Tyler Kendrick, Avery, Evan, and Emery Hirsch, Kooper, Kruz and Karissa Weed and Londyn and Ledger Bennett; sister, Luetta Schmitt; sister-in-law, Wilma Hughes; son-in-law, John Fox; along with many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Preceding Dorothy in death were her husband, Virgil; her infant son, Joseph; daughter, Jolene; parents, Glen and Pearl Hughes; sister, Darline Ernest; brother, Glen I. Hughes; brothers-in law, Orlin Kinman, Jim Schmitt, Leonard Sobotka and Willis Ernest; sisters-in-law LaVon Wehde and Venita Sobotka.

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