HOLTON- Dorothy O. Nowlin, 99, of Holton, died Thursday, February 11, 2010, at Lawrence Memorial Hospital less than three months from her 100th birthday; she is now resting in the arms of her Lord and Savior. She was born May 7, 1910, on a farm east of Willow Hill, IL, as the eldest of three daughters of Joe and Ethel (Cohoon) Longsdorff. She graduated from Maroa (IL) High School and then obtained a Music Degree from Millikin University, Decatur, IL in 1931. While teaching school in Monticello, IL, she met Oscar JB Nowlin. They were married secretly on June 28, 1935 in Little Rock, AR and, following a public wedding on July 18, 1936 in Maroa, IL, they moved to CA. Following WWII, they bought the Holton Greenhouse and moved to Holton on January 16, 1946; they operated the greenhouse for over 50 years. She is preceded in death by her husband, Oscar JB Nowlin who died February 21, 2004; her two younger sisters Florence Berry and Joanne Longsdorff; and her parents. Her four children survive her: John, Bellflower, CA and his wife Lea; Stewart, Lawrence and his wife Nancy; David, Overland Park and his wife Sharon; and Mary, Phoenix, AZ. She is also survived by six grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Her passion for music began as a young child and continued through out her entire lifetime. After graduating from Millikin, she began a long career as a choral music instructor. She taught grades K-12 in Monticello, IL (1931 1936); Circleville (1951 1955); Denison (1955 1958); Holton (1958 1965); and Kansas City, MO (1966 1976). She not only directed multiple school choirs, but she also directed and played the organ for churches in Holton, Topeka and Kansas City. She enjoyed producing operettas while at Holton High School which the students and community greatly enjoyed; she also gave private voice and piano lessons. During her busy schedule of raising children, caring for her husband and assisting with his floral business, she made time to serve her community and to further her education. She obtained her Masters in Music at Kansas University in 1958 and her Specialists Degree at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York in 1965. Dorothy was very active serving in organizations including Eastern Star (Worthy Matron and District Aide of #180 OES), All Stars, St. Cecelia, Qui Vive and Pilot International (charter member of the Holton club). She also served as the KS/MO District Governor of Pilot International. And she was an active, long time member of the Holton United Presbyterian Church. In their retirement years they traveled extensively, including two trips around the world. A celebration of her life will be at the Chapel Oaks Funeral Home in Holton on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Millikin University, in care of the funeral home, P.O. Box 1034, Holton, 66436. On-line condolences may be made at chapeloaksfuneralhome.com
. Dorothy O. Nowlin
Published by Topeka Capital-Journal on Feb. 14, 2010.