Dorothy Irene Smith
Dorothy Irene Chaplin Smith was born in the family home near Wiley, Colorado on December 23, 1920 to J.W. “Bill” and Elsie Chaplin, and departed this life on December 11, 2020, at the age of 99 years; 12 days from her 100 birthday.
Dorothy, being the last surviving member of her immediate family, was preceded in death by both her parents, Elsie Chaplin in 1952, her father Bill Chaplin in 1970, a sister Velda in 1932 following a tragic accident, and a sister Norma Kingston in 1986.
She lived with her parents and two sisters in the Wiley Community until March of 1929 when the family moved to a farm NE of Lamar in the Alta Vista Community.
Dorothy especially enjoyed the years attending Alta Vista School and carried with her throughout her life many happy memories of this period of her life by remembering the many spelling bees, arithmetic matches and baseball games with the surrounding country schools and the school plays, box suppers, last day of school picnics and baseball games with parents and schoolmates.
In spite of the fact of having grown up on a farm during the great depression of 1929, the howling dust storms of the “dirty 30’s” without the benefit of electricity or running water. She always expressed the feeling that she had never felt poor or deprived but that it was a blessing as she believed it helped prepare her better for the trials of life. She always felt grateful for having grown up on a farm and in this community.
She later attended and graduated from Lamar High School in 1938.
On July 1, 1939 Dorothy was united in marriage to Byron Eugene Smith, who passed away August 30, 1985 following 46 years of a very happy and rewarding marriage.
She leaves to mourn her passing their three children and three grandchildren; a son Colin Smith and wife Susan, their daughter Ashley (Paul) of Ipswich and their daughters, Lara and Emmy and London England; daughter Feona Gore of Lewisburg, West Virginia and daughter Cheryl Perkins and husband Steve and their two children, Whitney and Nathan Perkins of Allen, Texas. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews, cousins and many friends.
During her lifetime Dorothy was an energetic person who had a keen interest in many things. She especially enjoyed keeping her home, helping her husband in his business’, flower gardening and being a stay-at-home mom most of the years while raising her family.
She joined the Wiley Methodist Church in May of 1934 as a young girl, later changing her membership to the Lamar Methodist Church following her marriage. She was a long-time member of the United Methodist Women and served on the Executive Board and was secretary for a number of years. She has also served terms on the Administrative Board and Board of Trustees.
During her child-rearing years she spent a great deal of time helping with her children’s activities, such as teaching Sunday School and Bible School, of which she was superintendent a number of times. She was also a 4-H leader, teaching sewing and cooking and a was a Girl Scout leader and set mother for square dancing and made many a square-dancing costume.
Prior to raising her family, Dorothy worked for the ASC Farm Office and the Prowers County Department of Social Services. After taking time out to raise her family she began a twenty-year tenure in 1965 as a Deputy Clerk for Prowers District Court and in that capacity acted as Clerk to the late Judge Jack A. Vohs and for fourteen years served as Clerk to the late Judge John C. Statler. She retired from that position May 3, 1985.
Dorothy was a long-time member of the Inter Sese Federated Club for many years and of Chapter “D” PEO, meanwhile serving as an officer numerous times. In later years Dauber’s Club was added to her activities. The friendships and activities and fun were all treasured greatly by her. The helped make life interesting and enjoyable.
Following her retirement and the death of her husband, Dorothy began a new life for herself in which she enjoyed working with Hospice by serving twelve years on the Utilization Board as Medical Records Clerk, auditing patients medical records for state review, and serving five years on the Board of Directors.
She became interested in oil painting and drawing and took classes from local artists and classes at Lamar Community College. Many enjoyable hours were spent with this hobby as well as taking numerous extended trips to visit her children and touring points of interest in the United States, Canada several times, Alaska, Hawaii, the British Isles several times and the Tyrolean Alps of Australia and Switzerland. From the diaries kept and pictures taken Dorothy spent many pleasant hours reliving highlights of those trips.
Other pastimes were reading, music and her flowers. She was always interested in public affairs and government and kept abreast of current affairs, both locally, state and nationally.
She was a person who firmly believed “YOU ARE JUST AS HAPPY AS YOU MAKE UP YOUR MIND TO BE” and “LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT BY THE CHOICES YOU MAKE”. She was always able to find contentment and fulfillment in whatever stage of life she found herself.
And now – as it is with the changing of the seasons, life too has its seasons. Dorothy has now entered into a new beginning and her wish to all is:
MISS ME – BUT LET ME GO
When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me,
I want no rites in a gloom filled room,
Why cry for a soul set free.
Miss me a little – but not too long,
And not with your head bowed low,
Remember the love that we once shared,
Miss me – but let me go.
Written by Dorothy Smith