Dorothy Arlene Vance Thompson was born in Sterling, Colorado, November 29, 1932 to Alvin Clinton "Mike" and Opal Selma Vance. She peacefully passed on to her heavenly home on April 27, 2015 in Independence, Kansas. Graveside Celebration of Life will be Wednesday, April 29, 2015, at 10:00 AM at the Mount Hope Cemetery in Independence, Kansas, under the direction of Potts Chapel. Memorial donations may be made to the American Red Cross.
Dorothy grew up on the family farm outside of Sterling, Colorado. Because transportation was costly, Dorothy stayed in town and lived with a family in their apartment above their soda shop in high school. She paid for her room and board by waiting on customers after school. While playing volleyball she suffered a shoulder injury which plagued her during her lifetime. She also was the pitcher on her fast-pitch softball team.
Growing up Dorothy attended the Methodist Church in Sterling, Colorado, later transferring to the First Christian Church in Burlington, Colorado, where she and Don sang duets, and finally to the Methodist Church in Independence, Kansas.
Dorothy was very active in her 4-H club in clothing construction, modeling and cooking. She received several state blue ribbons and was chosen to go to the National 4-H Club Congress in Chicago, Illinois where she demonstrated her cooking skills. Dorothy was also active in Theta Rho while in high school.
While working her senior year at the soda shop, Dorothy met Don Thompson. They married, after she graduated from Sterling High School, on December 31, 1950. To this union four children were born - Donna, Mike, Vicki, and Doug. The family lived in Sterling, Colorado, Scottsbluff, Nebraska, and then Burlington, Colorado, where they owned and operated the Phillips 66 gas station and the Black Stallion restaurant; they then built the Howdy Partner Drive-In. They also managed the Kit Carson County Airport. Dorothy baked pies for a local restaurant, was a bookkeeper and worked at the Burlington Record.
Fond memories were made traveling to the Vance farm during the summers and butchering about 200 chickens in one day. With all the cousins, even the youngest one, an assembly line was set up. Everyone had a job to complete. For supper there was always mashed potatoes and fried chicken.
Dorothy coached the fast pitch softball teams with Flo Franklin (Tamco and Shamrock) in the late sixties and early seventies. They helped the Tamco team to the state invitational tournament in Denver, Colorado. 1969 was the first year that any of the Burlington teams played in the state tournament. As a result the girls became members of the Amateur Softball Association.
Dorothy was also supportive of her family whether in school, sports or extracurricular activities. She attended all activities that not only her children were involved in but also those of her grandkids. Grandma Dot was very special to all her grandchildren. She helped out with the grandchildren whenever she was needed and in whatever needed to be done. She made it a point to attend at least one event of all her grandchildren. She was known to the friends of all her grandchildren as well.
In the eighties Don and Dorothy moved to Iola, Kansas. From there they moved to Cherryville, Kansas and finally to Independence, Kansas. Dorothy waited on tables, did bookkeeping, worked at Twig's Floral and attended the Independence Community College to improve her bookkeeping skills. She was also employed in the Independence school district as a cook and bus monitor. Throughout her life, Dorothy donated Five Gallons of blood to the American Red Cross Association.
Dorothy married and divorced Lamoin Buel.
Preceding Dorothy in death were her parents Mike and Opal Vance, her brother Sonny "Lloyd Alvin" Vance, and grandchildren Wendy Sue Witzel and Bo Donovan Thompson. She left the following family members to remember her and celebrate her life: Immediate family members: Sister Dollee Franklin and husband, Royal, Brother Burt Vance and wife Betty. Children: Donna Lee and Ken Witzel (CO), Mike and Julie Thompson (AZ), Vicki Thompson (Independence, KS), Doug and Candy Thompson (OK). Grandchildren: Kip, Todd, Lance, and Kyle Witzel, Dustin, Michelle, Mindy Thompson and Jozee Thompson and Zakery Wallace, Ricky Craig, Ariel and Devin Thompson. Great Grandchildren: Jade, Matthisen, Kaitlenn, Luxi, Will, Preston, Piper, Swae, Ava, Cooper, Nolan, Owen, Brooks, and Lyla. Witzel, Tylon, Bree, Peyton, Caitlin, Nathan, Nick, Landen, Eva, Zoie and Tanieca Thompson.