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Dorothy K. Hougland died February 21, 2023. She is survived by her two children, Karl Hougland (Marlys) and Rebecca Greer (Irvin), four grandchildren Cezanne Wikoff (Brandon), Tyler Greer (Emily) Kyle Robbins (Tim), Ricky (Tor) and seven great-grandchildren.
Born Dec. 15, 1929, in rural Johnson County, Dorothy's mother, an orphan train child, died when Dorothy was 13. As the only daughter in a family of 5, Dorothy worked as a deputy register of deeds and stayed on the family farm for a few years to help in the care of her younger brother, Marvin Kessler, her sole surviving brother.
She and her husband of almost 65 years, Donald Hougland, met somewhere at some time, but never revealed to the family how they met. It was always a source of fun conversations and speculation. One version is that Donald couldn't remember, and Dorothy wasn't telling.
A lifelong learner, Dorothy believed in the power of education and passed that along to her family always emphasizing "having an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out." She believed in staying informed and having a voice (even in an era when that was not always popular). She worked 22 years as a school secretary at Briarwood Elementary, where teachers and students always appreciated her care, concern, and detailed organization.
After retirement, Dorothy continued to live life to the fullest. She and her husband worked at Cheley Camps in Estes Park, CO, enjoyed summers in the mountains in Westcliffe, CO, played bridge and traveled internationally. At 82, she learned to create digital travel logs for Lakeview residents to enjoy on the internal TV station. She also began quilting and her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren all received quilts designed with them in mind. An avid reader, she gifted books for all holidays - she even participated in her book club via Zoom a week before her death.
The Hougland house was always open for someone who needed a place to stay or an extra hand. Family and friends knew that should they need it, there was an open bed, good conversation and a snickerdoodle cookie always at the ready.
Dorothy was known for her class, resilience, independence and above all else her loving nature. The way she lived is best captured by John Wesley's Rule –
Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.
In keeping with her wishes, there won't be a funeral, but a graveside memorial for the immediate family. In planning her husband's funeral just two years ago (and in true Dorothy form), she felt the family had the closure they all needed.
Staying informed and lively discussions based on fact were important, so any memorial designations may be made to her favorite public television station, KTWU Public Television, 1700 SW College Topeka, Ks 66621 or pledge, join or renew your membership to your favorite NPR radio station.
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