Dorothy Marie Kirk-Kline

Memorial Service, 1 p.m., Brewster Grange, followed immediately by a Graveside Service

Brewster, Washington

Dorothy was born in Lockport, Illinois, a small town less than 30 miles SW of downtown Chicago. She grew up with five other siblings, three brothers and two sisters. Her first husband also grew up nearby and they met while in high school. Dorothy was confirmed in the Shepherd of the Hill Lutheran Church in Lockport at the age of 12. Her favorite recreation was roller skating. She went as often as possible.

After graduating her boyfriend, Warren Kirk, joined the Navy and after his basic training, he was sent to Pensacola, Florida, for Navy Pilot training.

Not too long later, Dorothy joined him in Pensacola and they were married in1944 just before Dad was sent to the Pacific.

Before Dad graduated, WWII started; and upon graduation he was sent to the Pacific as a pilot of a P-38. Years before, my great-grandfather, who owned an ink company in Chicago got the idea that the family needed an apple orchard near Brewster. He purchased the land and sent his son to turn it into a productive orchard. This purchase was later known as the Kirk Orchard, across the Columbia River from Brewster. When my Dad went overseas, he convinced Dorothy to come west and help out in the “mess hall” on the ranch until the war ended. She took the train to Brewster and lived on the ranch, working in the kitchen with Grandma Elsie Kirk.

The war ended in the fall of 1945. Dad was released and didn’t waste any time coming home to his wife in Brewster and they began living as a family and celebrating the birth of their first son, Warren III. Dad started his local delivery service (extending up the Methow, Chelan, Bridgeport, and all parts between) his own idea; and Mom was a house wife and mother until my parents divorced when my brother started school.

Dorothy became an office clerk at the Herald Reporter.

In addition to being a Mother, Dorothy loved to sew and crochet. In our home there was no such thing as clothes wearing out! In addition to the Herald Reporter, Dorothy was very active in the Brewster Log Church, the Brewster School, as well as the Brewster Grange and the American Legion Auxiliary; frequently holding the office of President or Secretary. She loved the Brewster Grange.

Mom was always Mom, her first priority. She also allowed animals to become part of the family . we had dogs, many rabbits, and a sheep; all within the town of Brewster.

Then in the 1960s, Ray Kline needed another clerk for Kline’s and asked Dorothy if she would consider changing jobs. She said yes and started working for Kline’s, a great decision. Ray was a widow at that time and the two of them got married in March, 1965. Warren was in college at WSU and Robert was still in High School. They eloped to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. But, not before driving to WSU and asking for my approval.

Ray was so excited about his new wife and he insisted on building them a new home on the plaza overlooking the Columbia River. I remember Mom was even more excited and became so protective of her new home. “Take your shoes off at the door and NO animals allowed” were just two of many of her rules. Mom and Ray had a wonderful relationship, but unfortunately it only lasted not quite a decade before Ray died.

For years, Mom never traveled very far from Brewster. It was a rare occasion she came to visit her children; we always came to Brewster. One of her trips was in 1979 when the Navy had a dependent cruise from Honolulu to the island of Hawaii on a vessel which my brother was an officer.

Dorothy, Elsie, Warren, his wife and son flew to Honolulu to take part in this cruise. We cruised from Pearl Harbor to the island of Hawaii and stayed on a Navy resort. What an event! When it was time to come home, the winds were so bad that the Navy Commander strongly recommended all dependents fly back to Honolulu. Helen and her son, Dorothy, and Grandma Elsie flew back to Honolulu. She also visited Warren and his wife in England when her youngest Grandson graduated from high school.

In 2006, when Warren graduated from Seminary in Ohio, Mom was not up to making this trip, even with my Brother Bob as her escort. It was on this occasion in 2006 that Bob told me that Mom’s dementia was getting bad. She would walk downtown to Brewster and forget the way back to her home on the Plaza. I agreed to come out that fall and develop a plan for Mom’s care.

Warren and Helen came to Brewster that fall and agreed with Bob’s assessment. We decided to move Mom to an independent care living unit apartment in Wenatchee. It wasn’t long before Bob moved in with her to help care for her. Warren and Helen stayed in Washington and I was asked to serve two churches in the Yakima area. Dorothy stayed there for several years and then we moved her into Harmony House and Bob moved back to Brewster. Bob saw her almost every day, when she was in Harmony House, what was a blessing!!

When Bob died in 2019, I insisted Harmony House take her to his funeral. They agreed and when she saw my brother in the casket, she started crying. Although she hadn’t spoken for years, she knew it was Bob!! I was so glad I insisted Mom be able to attend Bob’s funeral.

There is much that we still do not understand about human life, this is why Jesus came to remind us that it is not ours to understand!!

I thank each of you who is able to come out on this occasion to reflect and to celebrate on the life of Dorothy Kirk-Kline. Clearly, she was never one of the “leaders” of this community, but just kept contributing where she could, behind the scenes. This was her community, her home. And wow, could she bake pies!!!

Dorothy was predeceased by both of her husbands and her youngest son; as well as each of her siblings except her youngest brother. Her eldest son is living in southern Indiana, near Cincinnati. Her eldest grandson, Warren IV, is living in Gardnerville, Nevada, and has two children, Salavin and Warren Aden; and her youngest grandson, Ryan, is living in Lawrenceburg, Indiana with her other two great-grandchildren, Marlee and Mason.

Visitation for Dorothy will be at Barnes Chapel, 510 West Indian Ave., Brewster, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 11, 2021. There will also be visitation from noon at the Brewster Grange on Highway 97 west of Brewster, with a Memorial Service following at 1 p.m., followed immediately by a Graveside Service.

Memorial gifts in memory of Dorothy can be donated to the Brewster Grange, Brewster American Legion, or the Brewster School District.

Please leave any thoughts or memories for the family at www.barneschapel.com. Services are entrusted to Barnes Chapel of Brewster, Washington.

 

 

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