Dorotha May Wicks Long, 101, of Guthrie, OK, passed away Saturday, June 15, 2013 in Guthrie. Dorotha was born February 18, 1912 in Guthrie to John Ray and Laura Belle (Purviance) Wicks. She spent her entire life in Guthrie.
A memorial service will be held at 10:30 AM, Friday, June 21, 2013 at the First Presbyterian Church, Guthrie with Pastor Scott Foster officiating. Private graveside services will be held prior to the memorial service. Services are under the direction of Smith-Gallo Funeral Home, Guthrie.
In 1934, Dorotha received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Oklahoma City University. After receiving her teaching certificate, she married Pearle Long and entered the business world alongside her husband.
Pearle and Dorotha had a daughter, Lauretta, born in 1936 and another daughter, Carolyn who was born in 1948. In May of 1955, Dorotha and Pearle lost their 18 year old daughter in a traffic accident. Dorotha lost her husband only two and ½ months later. With a six year old daughter to raise on her own, Dorotha’s thoughts turned to teaching.
Mr. Bradshaw, principal of Guthrie Jr. High, and his wife came to her home. She mentioned that she would like to teach and he looked at her transcript and mentioned that Mr. Crooks was going to hire a lady to teach 7th grade Language Arts at the Jr. High the next day. Mr. Bradshaw said that Dorotha could fill the position and that he would call Mr. Crooks and ask him to wait on hiring the lady until she could speak with him.
Dorotha talked to Mr. Crooks and he said that if she could get a temporary certification, that he would hire her. At the State Department of Education, she was told they could issue a two-year temporary certificate with the understanding that she attend summer school the next summer.
She was hired 14 days before school started. At the end of her first year of teaching, she enrolled in classes at U.C.O. and took “Practice Teaching.” Dorotha continued teaching at Guthrie Jr. High for the next 22 years. She taught 9th grade English for many of those years.
Dorotha was a Pep Club sponsor and sponsor of the Cheerleaders for 14 years. Of course, there was no compensation for the extra work in those days. The Pep Club sold popcorn at home games so she became skilled in managing the popcorn machine. The Pep Club attended all games at home and out of town.
In 1970, Dorotha received a Master of Education degree from U.C.O. In 1975, she received the Masonic Award for being an outstanding teacher. She also represented Guthrie schools as an O.E.A. representative at the O.E.A. State Convention.
Through the years, Dorotha was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church. She taught Sunday School for 12 years and was a Sunday School Superintendent for two years. In 1970, she was made an Elder in the Presbyterian Church. She also served as a President of the Women’s Association.
Dorotha was also actively involved in other activities and organizations. She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma for 32 years and served as AY of the P.E.O. for 27 years. Dorotha was also a Docent at the Oklahoma Territorial Museum for 19 years as well as being a member of the Logan County Retired Educators for 20 years. She served as President of each of these organizations and retired in 1976.
She was also proud of her daughter Carolyn Berry. Carolyn followed in her mother’s footsteps and became a teacher. Carolyn taught in the Ponca City school system for over 30 years.
Dorotha is predeceased by her parents, her husband Pearle, daughter Lauretta, grandson Jim Yarbrough, sister Mildred Brown, niece Tamera Long, stepson Gordon Long and a stepdaughter Mildred Yarbrough.
She is survived by her daughter Carolyn Berry of Tulsa, OK, and 3 grandchildren: Amanda Stephens and Andrew of Jenks, OK, Gene Yarbrough and Barbara of Moore, OK, and Rick Yarbrough and Ann of Ann Arbor, MI. She is also survived by several loving great-grandchildren and two nieces, Charlene Gibson and Chuck of Tulsa and Marlene Carson and Gary of Plano, TX.
Memorials in her name may be made to the First United Presbyterian Church, 102 East Noble Avenue, Guthrie, OK 73044.
Visitation will be held Thursday from 12:00 – 8:00 PM. Friends may sign the online guestbook at www.smithgallo.com