School teacher, world traveler, mother, community supporter, grandmother '? these are words that describe Dorothy M. Kirkpatrick, who died peacefully Friday, Aug. 2, 2013, in Salinas, Calif. She had just celebrated her 90th birthday. Though born in Iowa, Dorothy came to California after the War to start a teaching career. She met and married the son of one of her colleagues. Together, she and William "Bill" M. Kirkpatrick Jr. moved to San Luis Obispo, where she continued to teach in Atascadero while Bill studied and was then hired at Cal Poly. Their son, Don, was born in San Luis Obispo. In the early 1950s, the young family spent two years in Thailand, where Bill worked as an agricultural advisor. The experience inspired in Dorothy a lifelong interest in international travel. When they returned to San Luis Obispo, their daughter, Susan was born. Dorothy was involved in many community organizations, including the Cal Poly Women's Club, PEO, Delta Kappa Gamma and Friends of the Library. She was a past president and lifetime member of AAUW and past president of the San Luis Obispo Historical Society. Upon Bill's death in 1969, Dorothy taught kindergarten and first grade at Los Ranchos School. She traveled extensively during the summers to Europe, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand, and often sent picture postcards to the students in her classes. Dorothy kept close contact with friends and family around the world. When she retired, Dorothy vowed to spend as much time as possible in Yosemite National Park. For more than a decade, she lived in a tent and served as a summertime docent for the Yosemite Association, where she greeted visitors, talked about the park and raised funds for restoration and history projects. Last summer, she attended her grandson's wedding in Yosemite. Dorothy is survived by her children Don Kirkpatrick (Sandy) and Susan Kirkpatrick Volwiler; and three grandchildren Grant and Alexandra Kirkpatrick and Adam Volwiler (Kari). A memorial service for Dorothy is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, at the First Presbyterian Church, Marsh at Morro Streets in San Luis Obispo, where she was a member for more than 60 years. A reception will follow in Wilson Hall.
The Guest Book is expired.
Published in San Luis Obispo Tribune on Aug. 21, 2013