Dorothy Jean Coldwater was born May 11, 1930 in Beaver, Oklahoma to Eldon and Goldie Beard of rural Greenough. She grew up in the Greenough community and attended the Greenough School until 1947. Greenough consolidated with Forgan School and she attended and graduated from Forgan School in 1948. She loved the games of basketball and volleyball and participated in those as well as other school events.
Upon graduation, she began college at Northwestern State University in Alva, Oklahoma in the fall of 1948 and began studying a degree in education.
On September 16, 1949 she married Charles Coldwater of Forgan. He moved to Alva and both lived there until she graduated with her degree in 1952. While in Alva, their first child, Eugene, was born on February 13, 1951.
She and Charles moved back to the Greenough community to a house just ½ mile south of her parents. Their second child, Michael, was born on November 18, 1952. Dorothy Jean’s father helped her and Charles build a house in 1953 east of Floris and they lived there for the rest of their adult lives. She lived as typical married life in that time, meeting all the challenges of being a mother and maintaining her home. Shirley Jo was born on January 7, 1954 and Dale was born July 24, 1955. Needless to say, life was very busy for a mother of 4.
After all her children were in school, Dorothy Jean began teaching in Beaver Schools where she finished the spring semester of 1963 for a vacant position teaching 4th grade. She went back to summer school in Alva to get her certification in Physical Education and began teaching Physical Education at Beaver School and taught PE from the fall of 1963 until 1978. She then began teaching fourth grade at Beaver until retiring in 1993.
Dorothy Jean taught hundreds of students during her career, including any second generation students. Her love for teaching children and helping them succeed in life has been proven many times over the years by many former students and parents voicing their thanks to her. She never showed favorites. She did, however, insist that every student reach their potential and she would spend much time helping to assure that none of her students missed their mark.
After retiring, her teaching career continued as she began substitute teaching for not only Beaver School, but Forgan, Turpin and Liberal, Kansas. She just couldn’t stay away from kids.
Dorothy Jean was baptized into the Christian faith and was a lifelong member of the Church of Christ in Forgan. She learned and always believed that all things would work out for those that loved the Lord. She as always aware of those in her community that might be struggling and would find a way to help them so that they knew somebody cared. Her faith did not live quietly.
Dorothy Jean loved to sew and over the years had made many, many quilts and given them as gifts. Her gift quilts were a surprise to many that were fortunate to receive one.
She loved her family as well as her extended family and was always ready for a get together. She enjoyed playing games, cards and especially dominoes and just spending time together.
She and Charles celebrated their 70th anniversary September, 2019. Charles passed away on November 21, 2019.
The last few years have been a physical struggle for her, but she would always say she had ha a pretty good life and things could be certainly worse. She seldom complained. She was so thankful for those nurses who took care of her when she could no longer walk. Some of those nurses just happened to be former students of hers.
Dorothy Jean Coldwater passed from this life on October 30, 2020 at the age of 90. Her influence on all who were fortunate to know her will truly ne missed. We love you mom.
She was preceded in death by her parents, a younger sister who died at birth and her husband, Charles. She leaves behind her children, Eugene and his wife, Nina, Michael and his wife, Denise, Shirley Jo, Dale and his wife, Susan, many grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren and countless friends and relatives.