Dollie Lou Higgins Green was born on July 8, 1931 to Claude and May Higgins in Polk County Mo. She passed away February 12, 2014 in Oklahoma City, OK. Dollie was the oldest of five daughters and worked alongside her father working the family farm. At age 6 she decided she wanted to be a teacher. Once she set her sights on that goal, she proceeded to make it a reality. She graduated second in her class at Walnut Grove High School in 1949 because of a clerical error that was discovered after graduation which would have made her the class Valedictorian. At 18 she started school at SMS University in Springfield, Mo. In August of 1949 she signed her first teaching contract on the fender of car and started her teaching career at Oak Grove School. Oak Grove was a one room school house where she taught grades 1-8. She would live briefly with the Barnes family before moving in with the McCaslin family.
At the school pie supper that fall, she would meet Claude Green. The dashing young man at home recovering from surgery had lost the coin toss with his friends and had to purchase the teachers dinner. After a three year courtship he became her husband of 60 years. He precedes her in death. The two eloped on May 27, 1952 and moved to Dodge City, Ks where Claude went to work driving a truck and Dollie established their new home. In the fall of 1952, they moved to Wichita, Ks where they started their family. Dollie went to work for LC Jackson’s Furniture Store where she worked until their daughter Debbie was born. Three years later they welcomed a son Don. Dollie continued teaching and going to the university. In 1964 graduated from Wichita State University with her degree in Elementary Education. She continued to take classes at Wichita State until her retirement. In 1965, they welcomed a daughter Connie and in 1966 she started teaching at Will G. Price Elementary where she taught until 1977 when the family moved to Barton County, Mo.
Dollie starting teaching first grade when she returned to Missouri and taught at Bronough and Liberal until 1984.
In 1984, they moved back to Kansas and she started teaching in the Valley Center School District, where she taught until retirement. When she retired in 1993, she had been teaching for over 38 years and had taught hundreds of children to read and write. She was honored as Valley Center Teacher of the Year in 1993. She and Claude retired together and built their dream home in Barton County. They lived there until Claude’s death in 2012.
Following Claude’s death, she moved to Oklahoma City where she lived with Jim and Connie for six months. She and Jim enjoyed watching the Walton’s in the afternoon when he came home from work and she enjoyed spending time with the dogs and visiting with her Oklahoma friends. She lived with them until her health started to fail and she moved in an assisted living center minutes from their house. While living at Timberwood she enjoyed attending church services, parties, art and crafts, listening to music and visiting with her new friends and caregivers. Everyone at Timberwood loved “Miss Dollie” and she enjoyed talking to them. She enjoyed her outings with Connie and they even made a couple of trips to Wichita, having dinner with family and good friends at the Santa Fe Steakhouse and shopping at Hobby Lobby and Target. She also experienced her first earthquake and an F5 tornado.
Dollie enjoyed reading, sewing, gardening, shopping, asking questions, learning new things and traveling. In 1987, she and Connie flew to California, her first flight to visit her dear cousin Jeannie and all of the “California Cousins.” That was just the first of many trips that she and Connie would make including a cruise to the Bahamas’, trips to Branson, Mo; Daytona Beach and Cedar Key Florida, where they spent time with Nancy Jo, Dollies youngest sister. Their last flight home was on Sept 10, 2001 where their plane was delayed on the tarmac waiting for Air Force One to land in Jacksonville.- She and Claude enjoyed trips to Minnesota to visit with her sister Mary and her husband, L. Jay. There they would spend their days fishing and visiting. After retirement they would make weekend trips to Oklahoma City to visit with Connie and Jim or head to Wichita where they would visit with their son Don and their good friends the Cochran’s. They would also take day trips to visit Debbie and sons.
Dollie was an adventurer, a beloved wife and mother, a role model for her younger sisters, a devoted daughter, good friend to many and a dedicated educator. She had a quest for knowledge, a drive to succeed, a unique prospective of the world and she loved to talk. She was a member of the Community of Christ Church.
Dollie is survived by her children- Jim & Connie Root- Oklahoma City, OK- Don Green-Wichita, KS, Debby & Greg Harper Howard, KS and grandson and his wife Charlie and Amber Davis, Paragold AR. Her sisters, Mary Alice Myers Bismarck, ND; Shirley Boyles, Broken Arrow, OK; Nancy Jo Reece Valdosta, Ga and numerous nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her beloved husband Claude, sister Carol Ray, parents Claude and May Higgins and grandson Greg Davis.
Graveside services will be held Saturday, Feb. 15th, 2014 at Bakers Grove Cemetery at 10:00 am. Informal visitation will be on Friday Feb. 14th.
Donations may be made to the Baker’s Grove Cemetery in care of Daniel Funeral Home.
Condolences can be left at www.danielfuneralhome.net
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