Dorothy White



May 23, 2018 - 11:00 PM

Dorothy White

Dorothy Louise “Dotti” White passed away May 18, 2018 in Livermore, Calif.

She was born to Frank and Louise Wolkar on their farm in Beulah on Sept. 30, (“If I told you I’d have to kill you”).

Dotti was an accomplished woman who loved to learn, preferring reading to sports and piano practice to the outdoors. After graduating from Girard High School, she became first in her family to attend college at Kansas State Teacher’s College of Pittsburg. She enjoyed being the pianist for the Men’s Glee Club, a member of the Tri-Sigma sorority, a reporter for the Collegio newspaper, and Editor in Chief of “The Kanza” yearbook (1952) while she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and Journalism. After representing the Industrial Arts Club in the Miss Kanza competition (1951), she was approached by lifelong Iola resident Dean R. (Dick) White, who said, “Hi, I’m Dick White and I’m going to marry you some day.” Someday turned out to be June 2, 1953, and they were married until his death in 2003.

Dotti and Dick chose to raise their family in Iola, setting up housekeeping there in 1954. Dotti was a very active member of the Iola community, including the Iola Music Club, the Unity Club, The Revelers, Elks Lodge 569, the Women’s Society of Christian Service, the PTA and a local bridge club, to name a few. She was “a worker” people could count on when producing local events like the American Cancer Society Memorial Golf Tournament and a frequent supporter of activities at the Bowlus Fine Arts Center. She was Executive Secretary and Director of Public Relations at Allen County Hospital and enjoyed working at a local clothing store for a few years. She was very involved in the work of the First Presbyterian Church of Iola, serving as both Deacon and Elder, and in the Angel Food Ministry. Her favorite role at the church, however, was accompanying the choir on Piano, which she did for over 50 years. Renowned for her skill at the keyboard, Dotti was often approached by friends and organizations to play for meetings, social events, performances and services, seldom, if ever, saying no.

Dotti so loved her family and was never happier than when she was doing something for them. Suffice it to say that Iola school administration knew her well as she was rearing her children, Michael and Kristin.

She also doted on her two granddaughters, Dawson and Emma, swelling with pride as she recounted their accomplishments to her friends and family (and to strangers, whenever she had the opportunity).

For the last many years, she would introduce herself as “Dorothy from Kansas, but my granddaughters call me Doodah.” Though Doodah was a grandmother, she remained perpetually young at heart, always up on the times and current with fashion and technology. Her electric smile, kind heart and delightful sense of humor won her friends of all ages, wherever she went, and she will be sorely missed.

Dotti is survived by her son, Michael White of Carthage, Mo., her daughter and son-in-law Kristin and John Baier of Livermore, Calif.; her granddaughters Dawson White of Los Angeles, Calif., and Emma Baier of Davis, Calif.; her Baxter Springs family, sister-in-law Toni Wolkar and nieces Gretchen (and Brian) Caswell and Stephanie Dewey; and two cousins in Boulder, Colo., Gloria (and Tom) Stewart and Chris (Wylene) Corbett. She was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Louise Wolkar of Beulah; her husband, Dick White and her infant daughter, Kimberly Ellen of Iola; and her brother Edwin Wolkar of Baxter Springs.

A memorial service will be held in her honor at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, at the First Presbyterian Church Iola, followed by interment at Highland Cemetery.

Should friends desire, memorial contributions can be sent to the First Presbyterian Church of Iola or the Bowlus Fine Arts Center.


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