Dorothy Whitner-Poole died, at the age of 90 years, in her Salida home on April 28, 2023, of stroke following a long struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Dorothy was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1933. She grew up, attended college, married, and raised a family in the South. She moved to Minturn, Colorado, in 1982, where she was the school librarian (“media specialist”). Students of Minturn Middle School in the 1980s may retain fond memories of the help and encouragement they received from “Miz Whitner”.
Dorothy earned a Bachelor of Psychology degree in only three years from King College in Bristol, Tennessee, and a Master’s in Library Science from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, in 1978. While studying at ASU, she discovered a love of folk dance and after moving to Minturn, Dorothy met her future husband, Robert Poole, learning country swing dance. They were married in 1983 and enjoyed many years of dancing, traveling, camping, and laughing together. In 1985, they bought a home in Salida, Colorado and have been part of the Salida community ever since.
Two unbreakable threads that were woven throughout the fabric of Dorothy’s life were love of the beauty of Nature and the duty of a life of service. Wherever she lived, Dorothy planted flowers and grew gardens. Her commitment to service was expressed through her lifelong participation as a Christian and her career in childhood education. Even after retiring, she continued to pursue her lifelong dedication to quality education for children in multiple ways, including creating curricula for teaching writing, contract work for schools, and promoting rural education through the state’s Mountain Board of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES) program. She served a term on the Salida School Board, during which she energetically encouraged the community to approve the building of the new Salida Middle School in 1998.
Even Alzheimer’s Disease was not able to steal away her commitment to service and to the Church. With the help of kind friends, and above all, her beloved husband Bob, she attended Sunday service at First Presbyterian Church to the end of her life, and strove to take bread every Monday morning to the church’s soup kitchen to feed the hungry. Ever the teacher, she taught compassion for the the poor, the unfortunate, and the marginalized to all her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Everyone who knew Dorothy will always remember her beautiful sea-green eyes and her beautiful smile.
She was preceded in death by her brothers, Joseph and John, and her son, Edward. She is survived by her daughters, Deborah and Elizabeth, her husband, Bob, and their blended family of sons and daughters and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The grandchildren especially cherish countless happy memories of gardening and cooking, camping and road trips, with “Grandma Dorothy” and “Grandpa Bob”, sharing with them the natural wonders and joys of creation.
Dorothy’s family would like to express their whole-hearted thanks to the medical and hospice care teams who made it possible for her to die peacefully in her own home, surrounded by family. Our heartfelt gratitude goes out also to the loyal friends and dedicated care-givers who supported and comforted her and her family throughout the dark journey of Alzheimer’s Disease.
By her wish, Dorothy was cremated; there are no current plans regarding interment of her ashes. A memorial service is planned at the First Presbyterian Church in Salida on May 20th at 11:00 AM. Friends from near and far are invited to honor her memory by making a donation to youth programs of the Salida Regional Library, such as Story Time with Becky, Youth Writers’ Group, or League of Librarians. If you happen to be in Salida on a Monday morning, consider taking a loaf of bread to the Church’s soup kitchen and let them know it’s from Dorothy.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at email@example.com. Arrangements are with Lewis and Glenn Funeral Home.
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